Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) shares have received an upgrade from analysts at Deutsche Bank. They have upgraded the stock from Hold to Buy and raised their price target to $40 per share, saying that the company has “more revenue momentum” than any of the companies they are covering heading into this year. Deutsche Bank raised its estimates for Facebook not long before Oppenheimer also boosted its outlook on the stock.
In a report to investors last night, Deutsche Bank analysts said their thesis hasn’t changed since they first started covering shares of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB). They call mobile newsfeed ads “the game-changer” and say that the company is ramping up mobile revenue much faster than their initial estimates.
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The analysts said they see a few “new catalysts” for growth. Among those catalysts are Facebook Gifts, “better monetization of right rail from FBX and Custom Audiences,” the off-Facebook ad network, the social layer software for smartphones, and others. They expect the company’s ad revenue to grow more than 40 percent this year, which is significantly above the consensus. However they also caution that investors should take “one quarter at a time” when considering whether to invest in Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB).
Deutsche Bank notes that Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) had about $200 million in newsfeed revenue in the third quarter of 2012, but they say that it could have more than $800 in quarterly newsfeed revenue by the end of this year, particularly because the company will be porting mobile ads over to international regions. In addition Facebook will be introducing its video ad unit in the second quarter of this year. Deutsche Bank said while there aren’t many companies that are able to launch new features or ads and generate $2 billion in annual revenue from them in just six months of their launch. However they say video ads “could be the next big step-up.”
The analysts also speculated about Facebook’s media event, which is planned for today. They say it could be a new form of search technology which enables users to “navigate the site much faster on PC and mobile,” particularly for user and business profiles. They don’t believe Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) will try to index the rest of the web just yet, but they do believe the company will make on-site navigation “more seamless.”
Deutsche Bank analysts list four risk factors for investors to watch, including user experience and declining user engagement, a downtick of revenue in the current quarter before the launch of video ads, increased cannibalization of “right rail from newsfeed,” and user defections due to expiring content services like Snapchat.
Shares of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) were up almost 1 percent in premarket trades Tuesday after losing more than 2 percent in Monday trading.