Facebook Inc (FB) stock continues to hover close to its all-time high of $128.33 per share after having climbed more than 230% since the initial public offering a little over four years ago. Despite the tremendous tear, very few are calling the social network overvalued, and most analysts recommend it as a Buy.
Facebook has solid fundamentals
InvestorPlace contributor Lawrence Meyers says he doesn’t invest in many growth stocks and especially hates momentum stocks like Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB). He believes most momentum stocks are getting carried on ahead of their companies’ fundamentals, which is why they often end up plummeting after a huge tear. Facebook stock certainly falls in the momentum category, but unlike most stocks in that category, Meyers notes that the company seems to have some “solid fundamentals behind it, and it may not be outrageously priced.”
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He points out that the social network is continuing to see growth in monthly active users in the U.S. and Canada, although the growth is flattening out, based on Statista data. It’s estimated that Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) holds a 69.7% revenue share of social network ads, which is a decline from 72.3% in 2014. Total ad revenue grew 68% year over year to $3.077 billion in the second quarter, however. Payments and other fees revenue has been flat at about $135 million for nearly four years, he added.
Average revenue per North American user soared 40% year over year in the quarter, while revenue per user in the Asia-Pacific region climbed 37% and average revenue per European user rose 41%.
FB’s valuation is scary
So Meyers notes that all of these metrics look pretty good, and adds that Facebook holds about $23 billion or $10 per share in cash and doesn’t have any debt. So the net effective price for Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) stock is $116 per share. The social network’s market capitalization stands at around $336 billion, and its trailing 12-month net income is $6 billion, which he said gives its stock a multiple of 56 times earnings. Because the company’s net income has been tripling year over year and its operating income more than doubling, he thinks Facebook stock is fairly valued at this point. (This could be why it has been range-bound lately.)
Overall, he believes that Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) will be able to keep improving engagement “until there is some massive privacy backlash,” although he adds that the stock’s valuation “scares” him.
Some still calling FB stock a short
Not everyone thinks the social network will be able to keep growing engagement, however. Citron Research chief Andrew Left said earlier this week on CNBC’s Halftime Report that Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) stock will “become a tremendous short once engagement numbers slip.” He predicts that this will happen sometime within the next few years. He explains that all of the research on the social network is based on engagement levels, which concerns him.
He has been short on Facebook stock quite some time, as he questioned previously how much better its story will be able to get. He noted that the company “blew out earnings, completely destroyed every estimate” but that its stock only climbed by 1.5% to 2% the following day. As a result, he questions what would happen if the social network’s results were only in line with expectations.
Left added that stocks need new buyers and sellers every day, so his short is based on the idea that there’s almost no one left to buy Facebook stock, which has nothing to do with the company itself.
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) shares edged higher by about 0.2% to as high as $126.44 during regular trading hours on Friday.