While 2015 was the year of FANG (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Google), there’s been a lot of debate about whether those same four hot stocks will continue to outperform this year after going on a huge tear last year. Some firms are offering their own new acronyms (BAGEL comes to mind) to replace FANG, but Credit Suisse still likes three of the four FANG stocks: Google, Facebook and Amazon.
A harvest period for internet stocks?
Credit Suisse analyst Stephen Ju and his team said that looking across the internet sector, they have found that most companies are starting to see the capital intensity required to run their respective operations peak. They said that when looking at the aggregate capital expenditures that have been deployed throughout the sector, the incremental dollars spent are moderating.
They believe this indicates that a “harvest period” is on tap following long investment period for internet companies as they seek to keep up with rising demand for services following mobile adoption while also developing and rolling out new products to monetize all that new traffic.
Google price target upped
Looking at the mega-cap part of the internet sector, Ju and his team like Google, Facebook and Amazon the most. Looking at Google, they said most investors appear to be dismissing YouTube’s new Red offering. However, they note that Google’s streaming platform has more than 1 billion users, which means only a small percentage of users must convert from the free service to the subscription-based service in order to make a difference, enabling the company to monetize the annual average revenue per user at ten times.
They continue to expect Google to benefit from the closing of the monetization gap between mobile devices and desktop computers. Further, they expect the company to keep moderating its capital expenditures and see more and more contributions from bigger non-search businesses. They upped their price target on parent company Alphabet from $850 to $900 per share based on the addition of YouTube’s Red offering.
Facebook sees long-term growth
For Facebook, the Credit Suisse team sees continued revenue growth in the long term without the need for a “material” increase in ad loads. In the near term, they expect Instagram, Premium Videos and DPA to drive sales growth at the social network. They also think that Wall Street is underestimating the long-term potential of the company’s upcoming new ad products as well.
Further, they see “optionality” and room for upside to estimates based on Facebook’s many offerings, including WhatsApp, Messenger and Offers/ Local. Their price target on Facebook remains at $135 per share.
Amazon price target increased
The Credit Suisse analysts made some broad-based adjustments to their thesis for Amazon to account for the financial statements regarding Amazon Web Services and the e-commerce business. For example, their valuation suggests that Amazon Web Services is worth $149 billion, which they say indicates that Wall Street is mispricing the e-commerce business.
Also they’re seeing signs that the capital intensity associated with running AWS is starting to level off, and the e-commerce business is starting to see its operating margin expand as a result of the moderating shipping loses. The analysts have upped their price target for Amazon from $777 to $800 per share, based on their adjusted model.
After selling off big-time early this month, shares of Google parent Alphabet and Facebook edged higher today. Facebook stock climbed by as much as 0.45% to $97.95, while Alphabet shares edged higher by 0.81% to $739.02. Amazon shares dropped 0.44% to $615.03 during regular trading hours today.