Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) maintains its top spot on the Deutsche Bank coverage list of “must-own” stocks. A report from Deutsche Bank by Ross Sandler, Lloyd Walmsley, Deepak Mathivanan and Kevin LaBuz dated April 10th 2014 states that the first quarter estimates are moving closer to their “optimistic view,” unlike the last quarter.
“Under-penetrated” ad revenues
Over the past three reports, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has reported above-consensus ad revenue by $200 million on average, and for the first quarter, the analysts believe ad revenue to be in the $50 million-$100 million range.
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Checks by the Deutsche Bank analysts indicate robust ad revenue primarily due to three primary tools: custom audiences, app install ads and FBX. According to the analysts, even though the social networker has gained significantly in these areas, the revenues still remain “underpenetrated” compared to the 25% mobile consumption share.
Overall, analysts say that considering the “universally positive sentiment” they are not as optimistic on the first quarter as they were in the last report, but “FB remains a top name.”
As was witnessed in the second and fourth quarter last year, “the most optimal situations heading into FB prints usually involve two-fold” catalysts, believe analysts. The consensus estimate for Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is trying to adjust to the strong fundamentals from the company, but according to analysts, the upside will be lower than in recent quarters. Ad revenue growth for the social networker is expected to come in at $2.1 billion or an increase of 70% year over year.
After the first quarter, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has many catalysts to push the growth like “mobile ad pricing inflation as friction is removed,” mobile ad network, Instagram, improved better desktop ads and WhatsApp.
Facebook’s mobile consumption “shockingly high”
Presently, Facebook’s mobile consumption share accounts for 25% for the core app, and including Instagram and WhatsApp the contribution is somewhere around over 40%. According to analysts, this is “shockingly high share for a single company” considering only $6 billion of mobile revenue expected for 2014, which comes to around 5% of digital advertising.
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s mobile achievements become clearer if we consider that the company’s desktop market share was at its highest in 2012 accounting for 16% of all desktop traffic.
Analysts view Facebook’s opportunity as not fully realized as the company’s forward EV/EBITDA is up only 35% since before the second quarter 2013 earnings while the company’s centrality in mobile has increased more than 60% to 2014 EBITDA.
Deutsche Bank analysts have a Buy rating on Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) with a price target of $76.