Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) shares are up 2 percent in pre-market trades Monday morning ahead of the company’s planned media event, which is set for tomorrow. Well-known Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster has issued another positive report for the stock.
Munster said he continues to view shares of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) “positively” as he expects that its fourth quarter earnings report will be strong and in line the expectations of Wall Street analysts. He believes the company will show a 34 percent acceleration year over year, an increase from the company’s 32 percent acceleration in its third quarter.
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According to Munster, the company should benefit from “a stronger display ad environment” and political spending from the November elections. He’s estimating mobile revenue to be around $300 million, compared to just $152 million in the company’s third quarter.
Based on Piper Jaffray’s checks with the New York Times, MSN, YouTube and AOL, Facebook’s fourth quarter averaged 80 percent “guaranteed ad coverage” compared to 65 percent in the company’s fourth quarter of 2011 and 57 percent in its third quarter of 2012.Munster saw strength across all of these sides, but especially AOL and Yahoo! year over year.
Investors seem to think Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s media event tomorrow will be some type of major announcement, perhaps about a Facebook smartphone. However Munster believes it will be about “modest upgrades” for its users and / or advertisers, possibly including updates to the Timeline. He said based on his “work on the iPhone channel,” he believes that it’s unlikely Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) will unveil a phone at the event.
Munster said if shares of the company’s stock pull back after that media event because of investor disappointment, he would recommend buying the stock on that pullback. He continues to rate shares of Facebook as Overweight and has kept his price target for the stock at $38 per share.