Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is still the subject of intense debate as the company’s IPO continues to put a dampener on the market. Needless to say, most of the recommendations on the company’s performance have been negative if not downright morbid. According to one research firm today Facebook will outperform. The report sets a price target of $37 for the company.
A price target of $37 and an outperform rating seem contradictory as the firm’s IPO was at $38. The firm is now far below that however trading today at around 26.39. A return to close to IPO levels of activity would be incredible if the shares were bought today. The report offers little solace to those who bought at IPO or above IPO prices and are hoping for a return.
It does offer an avenue that Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) could use to get its act together and take a great deal of market share from competitors. That strategy involves fighting Google in its back yard. More on this in a moment.
The report concentrates on Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s position as the center of online identity as a reason behind its stability. That combined with the increased monetization of the mobile computing sector by rolling out mobile advertising should secure Facebook’s future and give it a huge amount of room to grow.
The most interesting prospect contained in the report is the creation of a third party advertising system, similar to the Google Inc (NASDQ:GOOG) model. The report entitles this program Facebook Ad Network. It would see ads generated on outside websites utilizing Facebook’s data.
The online advertising platform market is saturated but Facebook’s access to ridiculous amounts of data from its users put it in a unique position to offer something different and more effective to businesses seeking to advertise.
It would open a completely new stream of revenue to Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) as investors worry about its current model, and is the only foreseeable way for the company to continue to do what it knows and keep up with the growth targets the market has set for it.
Facebook’s new advertising model, if it comes to pass, will face several challenges. Google currently has a strangle hold on the model and Facebook’s product will need to be easy to use and return value to its users. This is easier said than done.
Aside from its future plans any boat rocked in Facebook between now and the company doing something the market likes could destroy the stock price. If results from the second quarter are not up to scratch or some other trouble erupts at Menlo Park the company’s future will not be as bright as it looks, even as it looks now.
Facebook is downtrodden after a rotten IPO. It is not dead. The company has potential if nothing else. This report may be hopeful but it is not naively so. Facebook has room to grow, particularly as an online advertising platform. If the company follows that route rather than this silly smart phone business then it has a chance of returning to where it was in the estimation of investors and returning real value to shareholders.