Facebook Inc (FB) Stock Price Target Lifted By JPMorgan

Facebook Inc (FB) Stock Price Target Lifted By JPMorgan

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) stock moved higher on Tuesday following a price target increase from analysts at JPMorgan. They continue to believe that the social network has a “strong competitive moat” and feel that the recent concerns are “overdone.” Meanwhile analysts from multiple firms are weighing in on the company’s AdWeek keynote speech.

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Facebook stock target to $175

JPMorgan analyst Doug Anmuth said in a report today that he has bumped up his price target for Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) stock from $170 to $175 per share and reiterated his Overweight rating. He believes the social network is poised to see its ad revenue grow significantly as it focuses on user experience and continues to improve monetization. He also feels that it’s still early in the development of the company’s ad platform and expects it to continue improving its ability to target ads and measure their performance.

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In addition to improving targeting and measurement, Anmuth believes the shift toward “higher-quality ad formats” will continue. He also sees Messenger, WhatsApp and Oculus as future revenue drivers.

No discernable impact expected from Facebook’s measurement error

Measuring ad performance has become an even hotter topic than usual since Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) admitted that it has been inflating the amount of time users spend viewing videos on its platform. In her keynote presentation at AdWeek on Monday, Global Marketing Solutions VP Carolyn Everson was quick to address the mistake. She emphasized that they had only made a mistake with one of the 14 metrics they provide to advertisers. She also admitted that they should have made the error public when they began calling customers to tell them about it last month. She promised greater transparency and communications going forward.

Goldman Sachs analyst Heather Bellini has a $162 price target and Buy rating on Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) stock, and she said in a report dated September 26 that the partners they have spoken with thus far don’t believe the measurement error will result in reduced spending on the network among advertisers. The reason is because of how great Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s reach is. She added that advertisers use more than the metric that the company miscalculated in determining how effective their campaigns are.

Nomura analyst Anthony DiClemente also said his conversations suggest no measurable impact on Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s ad revenue from the errors.

Facebook reaches 4 million advertisers

Anmuth also praised the value he feels Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) provides to advertisers, and Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said today on CNBC‘s Squawk Alley that they have now reached 4 million advertisers. The social network ad 3 million advertisers in March.

Sandberg emphasized the importance of mobile and said she believes advertisers know consumers spend time on mobile devices and thus feel like they must be there. She also talked up video and addressed the issues with measuring the amount of time users spend viewing videos on the platform. The executive explained that they continue to work on effectively measuring to help advertisers see connections between what consumers are seeing and what they’re actually buying.

Shares of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) stock rose by as much as 1.12% to $128.73 during regular trading hours on Tuesday.

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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 Mjones@valuewalk.com.
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