Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) stock appears to be on a fresh march back to its record high of $133.50 per share, as it has gained in each trading day of 2017. Granted, the year is still young, but the social network is a Wall Street darling that can’t seem to do anything wrong. No analyst is bold enough to issue a warning of any kind for Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) stock, and analysts are even starting to prefer the social network over Google parent Alphabet in the world of digital advertising.
The company remains such a strong growth story that even its stock still skyrocketed last year even though value stocks generally did better for most of the year. At least two firms have named Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) stock among their top picks for this year.
Facebook (FB) stock will outperform this year: JPM
In a report dated Jan. 10, JPMorgan analyst Doug Anmuth said that Facebook’s valuation is “compelling” and that the company should be able to scale the “wall of worry.” He named Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) stock as his favorite large-cap stock, noting the social media giant’s history of “healthy” earnings beats, strong growth in ad revenue, margin expansion and “significant upward earnings revisions.” He said all of these factors drove a 10% increase in Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) stock last year, putting the shares in line with the S&P 500.
Already this year, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) stock has rallied another 9% and is trading just about 6% lower than its all-time high, which was reached in October. Despite the continued growth in the stock, Anmuth feels that more outperformance is ahead for this year. He said enthusiasm has cooled, as the company’s blended forward P/E multiple has compressed by about 35% since last year.
He believes that the fears about the social network are simply overdone and thus create a solid buying opportunity. Among those fears are the possibility for a slowdown in revenue growth, slowing ad load growth, the guidance expected to be released this month, engagement, fake news, ad metrics, and competition.
Facebook (FB) stock also Oppenheimer’s top pick
JPMorgan isn’t the only firm to name Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) as its top large-cap pick, as Oppenheimer analyst Jason Helfstein did the same. Like Anmuth, he has several reasons to remain positive on Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) stock. For example, the holiday season bought major traction to shopping ads, and usage of the social network surged going into the presidential election.
Further, he sees an acceleration in momentum at Instagram as the Facebook-owned property continues to innovate in the area of ad products. In fact, he views Instagram as one of the two “most prominent growth drivers” for Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) this year, as the photo-sharing platform had 600 million monthly users, 75% to 80% of which are located outside the U.S.
The other main driver he sees is Dynamic Product Ads, on which spending skyrocketed 202% in the holiday shopping season compared to 2015. Helfstein added that Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) could raise the pricing for these ads because they offer a better return on investment than other ads on social media, but advertisers are spending little on them compared to the share of clicks they get.
Shares of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) stock rose by as much as 0.09% to $125.01 during regular trading hours on Tuesday.