Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) reported flawless third quarter results this week, according to UBS analysts, but the problem was comments made by management in the company’s investor call after the release. Eric J. Sheridan, Vishal J. Patel and Timothy E. Chiodo nudged their price target for the social network just a little higher and said investors should focus on its strong fundamentals rather than the comments made by management.
Shares of Facebook continue to recover today after declines earlier this week. They rose 3% in early morning trading.
Facebook delivers value to advertisers
They noted an interesting reversal in trends in Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s report this week. The social network reported 66% year over year ad revenue growth driven by a 42% increase in price per ad year over year. Impression growth was just 16% year over year in the third quarter, although it was the main driver in Facebook Inc (NADSAQ:FB)’s second quarter, while pricing growth played the supporting role.
UBS analysts believe that strength in pricing shows just how much value Facebook is able to provide advertisers.
Facebook management clouded fundamentals
The analysts point to two major comments made by the company’s management which dragged shares lower in after-hours trading. The company said it would not increase the number of ad units in News Feeds any further and that younger teens were starting to use Facebook less. They say these comments cloud the fundamental strength that exists in Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB).
They believe the social network will be able to scale revenues through pricing because of the high return on investment advertisers who use its platform are seeing. They also point to a number of product launches which are coming over the next year, including video ads, mobile retargeting and Instagram ads. The analysts believe these new products will improve current cost per impression and result in companies, especially big brands, allocating even more of their advertising budgets to Facebook.
In terms of teen engagement, they believe advertisers are more focused on Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s broad reach rather than fluctuations in user counts from quarter to quarter.
UBS adjusts Facebook’s estimates
They raised their 2013 fiscal year estimates for Facebook, bringing their revenue estimate from $7.54 billion to $7.64 billion and their adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization from $4.2 billion to $4.46 billion. Their earnings per share estimate for the full year moves from 75 cents to 86 cents.