Facebook, Google Benefit From Shifting Ad Budgets


Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) are direct beneficiaries of a trend UBS analysts see happening within the advertising industry. They report that their channel checks suggest that more companies are shifting more of their ad dollars toward performance-based advertising.

Facebook looks extra attractive after correction

Analysts Eric J. Sheridan, Vishal J. Patel and Timothy E. Chiodo have reiterated their Buy ratings on both Facebook and Google. They said Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) in particular looks attractive since the stock price correction after the company’s third quarter earnings report. They call Facebook “one of the most attractive risk / reward stocks for ’14.” The UBS team has a $62 per share price target on the stock.

They believe advertisers will continue to allot bigger and bigger proportions of their ad budgets to real-time bidding as they try to benefit from better targeting capabilities. The analysts cite the 75% increase in the number of advertisers Facebook has recorded on its Custom Audiences from the second and third quarters of this year.

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Facebook to benefit from social media spending

The analysts also point to an Adobe survey conducted in November which indicated that 36% of consumers planned to use social media while making decisions about what to buy during the holiday season. However, just 2% of purchases “were expected to come directly from social referrals.” The ecommerce analytics platform Custora indicated that just 1% of online Thanksgiving sales came from social channels.

The UBS team believes this is “largely a function of attribution” and that as tracking capabilities improve beyond just recording the last click, they think social cost per clicks will see “meaningful growth.” They note that Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) in particular receives 130% greater attribution when measured through the first click rather than the last click, which is what the Adobe data is based on. This would suggest that there’s a potential for higher pricing involved.

Google performs well on Custora


The analysts have a $1,100 per share price target on Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) and report that the search giant does benefit from the same data from Custora which showed low numbers from Facebook. According to Custora, about 15% of ecommerce transactions on both Black Friday and Thanksgiving originated from paid search. Digital marketing platform Kenshoo found that paid search increased 27% during this time as well. The platform found a 33% increase year over year on Thanksgiving and a 21% increase year over year on Black Friday.

ChannelAdvisor had similar numbers, and Google Shopping and Product Listing Ads suggested “meaningfully faster growth” with a 145% year over year increase on Thanksgiving and a 126% increase on Black Friday.


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Michelle Jones is editor-in-chief for ValueWalk.com and has been with the site since 2012. Previously, she was a television news producer for eight years. She produced the morning news programs for the NBC affiliates in Evansville, Indiana and Huntsville, Alabama and spent a short time at the CBS affiliate in Huntsville. She has experience as a writer and public relations expert for a wide variety of businesses. Email her at [email protected]
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