Wall Street analysts react to Facebook’s Libra debut

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Wall Street analysts reacted with great fanfare after Facebook finally revealed the details of its long awaited cryptocurrency, Project Libra, on Tuesday. Most analysts believe the crypto project will give the company a major boost and continue pushing Facebook to further greatness.

The social media giant said its partners in the initiative include eBay, Lyft, and Uber as well previously reported payment partners Visa and PayPal.

Share of the company were down 0.28% to $188.51.

“Facebook unveils blockchain-based Libra currency to empower billions globally,” said J.P. Morgan analyst Doug Anmuth who also reiterated Facebook as his best idea in the internet space.

“We came into 2019 with the view that mega-cap internets, and Facebook in particular, would need to increasingly diversify their businesses and revenue streams, ” he said. “We believe Libra can accelerate that diversification for Facebook as it creates engagement beyond social and communications, and facilitates commerce across the platform.”

Wall Street analysts’ excitement didn’t end there.

“We view Facebook’s introduction of the Libra currency as a potential watershed moment for the company and global adoption of crypto,” RBC analysts Mark Mahaney and Zachary Schwartzman said.

However, while analysts at SunTrust said this move was a, “positive,” they also cautioned this will take some time.

“This is an initiative that will take several years to develop, and will require consensus among the dozens of global participants to create a real movement, which will require time, negotiating skills, leadership and patience (especially with regulators),” they said.

Here’s what else the analysts are saying about Facebook’s Project Libra:

J.P. Morgan – Overweight rating

“Facebook Unveils Blockchain-Based Libra Currency to Empower Billions Globally; Potential L-T Driver of Engagement & Commerce…We came into 2019 with the view that mega-cap Internets, and Facebook in particular, would need to increasingly diversify their businesses and revenue streams. We believe Libra can accelerate that diversification for Facebook as it creates engagement beyond social and communications, and facilitates commerce across the platform. Libra also reflects Facebook’s greater velocity of product development and innovation, while also empowering billions of people. We reiterate our Overweight rating and $245 YE19 price target; Facebook remains our best idea in the Internet space.”

RBC- Outperform rating

“We view Facebook’s introduction of the Libra currency as a potential watershed moment for the company and global adoption of crypto. The mission for Libra is a simple global currency and financial infrastructure that empowers billions of people. In terms of scale and importance, we believe this new financial infrastructure could be viewed similar to Apple’s introduction of iOS to developers over a decade ago.”

SunTrust- Buy rating

“Unlike most other cryptocurrencies currently in circulation, this one is backed by the reserves of real assets and governed by an independent association made up of credible industry players, which should both limit the volatility of the currency and bring much needed credibility to this initiative. This is an initiative that will take several years to develop, and will require consensus among the dozens of global participants to create a real movement, which will require time, negotiating skills, leadership and patience (especially with regulators). We are not changing and do not expect to change our financial estimates on the back of this announcement short-term. That said, we see it a positive for shareholders as it creates incremental optionality value in the longrun.”

Raymond James- Outperform rating

“In our view, Libra has the potential to disrupt the current high cost cross border money transfer business and grow the e-commerce pie by serving the un/under-banked, but is unlikely to radically transform the current four party payment system. That said, it’s very early days; there are a lot of unknowns and we would caution against jumping to any real conclusions at this point.”

Baird- Outperform rating

“Today’s unveiling of the Libra White Paper addresses some of the largest barriers to mainstream cryptocurrency adoption (security,processing scale, commercial utility, etc.), and over the long-term, highlights significant potential benefits for cross-border payments/e-commerce, particularly in developing markets. While the initial focus of the Libra blockchain will be geared toward addressing financially underserved constituencies, over time, the applications (and monetization) of the technology could be much broader, in our view, and help Facebook diversify its revenue streams beyond advertising (consistent with Facebook’s recent strategic pivot toward more private interactions).”



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