As internet giants prepare to post earnings this week, Youssef Squali of Cantor weighs in on Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) with his earnings expectations.
Squali is a top-ranked Wall Street analyst with a 64% success rate and a 14.9% average one-year return per rating.
The social media behemoth will post first quarter earnings on Wednesday, April 27 after market close. Squali expects the company to post quarterly revenue of $5.165 billion and earnings per share of $0.54, compared to the overall consensus of $5.256 billion and $0.62, respectively. The analyst says these strong figures reflect “healthy sustained demand for social ad spending, which is the fastest-growing category in online advertising.”
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Facebook has been able to impressively grow its user base, and Squali expects the company to post a 14% year-over-year increase in monthly average users to 1.642 billion people. The analyst expects revenue from advertising on mobile to “rise to well north of 80%” in this earnings report. He adds, “We note that Google highlighted Mobile as the #1 driver of revenue growth in its 1Q16 results, which bodes well for Facebook.”
Moving on to advertising revenue, the analyst expects a 49.5% year-over-year increase in ad revenue, up to $4.959 billion. Although this is a deceleration from the 57% y/y increase the company posted in the previous quarter, Squali points out this segment is still “growing more than 3x the rate of the overall online ad market.” He continues, “As social media spend continues to take share of integrated ad budgets, as more of the company’s 3M marketers gain comfort with the platform, and as pricing moves higher for News Feed, carousel, auto-play video, and Instagram ads, we see 40+% growth as sustainable into FY:17.”
Overall, Facebook remains a “top pick” for Squali, thanks to its “position as the largest/most engaging mass-reach Internet platform for advertisers, unmatched targeting potential, and very potent monetization formats.”
Ahead of earnings, Squali reiterates a Buy rating on Facebook with a $140 price target, marking a 28% potential upside.
According to TipRanks, 93% of analysts covering Facebook are bullish while 7% are neutral. The average 12-month price target is $137, marking a 26% potential upside.
E-commerce giant Amazon will post first quarter earnings on Thursday, April 28 after market close. Squali expects the company to post revenue of $27.66 billion, marking a 22% year-over-year increase, and GAAP EPS of $0.25, well below the analyst consensus of $0.57.
Squali points to channel checks to ensure that Amazon is showing healthy growth, highlighting that US e-commerce at large grew 10% year-over-year for the quarter, compared to 6% y/y in the quarter prior. The analyst models a 21% y/y increase in North America revenue for the quarter and a 15% y/y increase in International revenue, taking FX headwinds into account. AWS should demonstrate “strong momentum” as well, as Squali predicts a 62% y/y increase in the cloud computing segment.
While Squali notes that Amazon is growing “materially faster than the overall ecommerce market,” he notes that there may be a “lid on profitability” due to the company’s “continued expansion of products and services, high investment intensity, and international expansion are likely to keep a lid on profitability.”
Squali maintains a Buy rating on Amazon ahead of earnings with a $750 price target, marking a 21% potential upside.
According to TipRanks, 89% of analysts are bullish on Amazon while 11% are neutral. The average 12-month price target is $749.59, marking a 21% potential upside.