Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) unveiled several new products earlier this month, and although they are unlikely to create much near-term revenue for the company, analysts see vast opportunities down the road. Despite the longer-term impact of the new products, the social network isn’t exactly hurting for revenues. Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is scheduled to release its third quarter earnings report on November 2, and analysts expect to hear that it performed quite well against what is a difficult year-over-year comparison.
Facebook expands into the workplace
Loop Capital analyst Blake Harper, who has a Buy rating and $165 price target on Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) stock, sees Workplace by Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) as the company’s biggest “strategic leap.” The reason is because most workplaces have little use for it, but the new product enables teams to communicate, which he feels is the perfect place to start. The subscription-based model will also provide revenue diversification by adding recurring revenue, something Technology investors love.
Harper feels the Events from Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) app “straddles the approach” taken by WeChat and other Asian companies by integrating multiple functionalities into a single app and the common American approach of single-use apps. He sees near-term monetization of the app as being unlikely. He is less excited about Marketplace, which he believes will be difficult to scale in terms of a business.
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) also showed off new Oculus accessories, and he feels that it has moved closer to being mainstream but is still far off.
Facebook earnings estimates raised
Meanwhile Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s third quarter earnings release is approaching fast, and with the second half of the year, the social network is running up against some difficult comparisons. Analysts aren’t really worried, however, as they expect the company to keep doing well. JPMorgan analysts expect Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s ad revenue to keep growing but probably decelerate modestly because of the more difficult second half comparisons. They peg the growth at 55%, down from 63% in the previous quarter. They believe the Street is expecting growth in the high 50% range.
They also look for engagement trends to continue their small quarter over quarter dips in both daily and monthly active users and for Instagram Stories to have begun impacting engagement starting in August. They said last week that comScore data indicated a 9% month over month increase in Instagram minutes in August, making it the strongest month in several months.
Analysts at Evercore ISI have increased their estimates for the company’s fourth quarter and for next year. They noted last week that the year-over-year comparisons become particularly difficult in the fourth quarter but add that their recent checks have led them to raise their fourth quarter revenue estimate 3%. They upped their adjusted EBITDA estimate as well, moving it up 3% to bring them just a little higher than consensus.
Shares of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) stock edged up by as much as 0.08% to $127.98 during regular trading hours on Monday.