Facebook Inc (FB) stock was little changed on Thursday after two days of edging higher as the company revealed its latest tools in the fight against Snapchat and its parent Snap. Analysts haven’t had anything bad to say about the social networking company for years, and they’ve long been shining a spotlight on Facebook Inc (FB) stock as a strong play in mobile Internet.
Facebook stock target price set at $154
Barclays analyst Ross Sandler assumed coverage of Facebook Inc (FB) stock on Wednesday with an Overweight rating and $154 price target. He put a more precise timeframe down for mobile, saying that the next three to five years will be the “golden age” as consumer transition from desktop and laptop PCs to mobile devices accelerates. Indeed, this transition has been going on for quite some time, and some Internet users in emerging markets have never even had a PC, so they’ve skipped straight to using the Internet on mobile devices.
Sandler termed Facebook Inc (FB) stock the “best pure play in consumer Internet around the secular growth in mobile advertising.” He feels that the social network now must move from “mobile first to video first,” just as CEO Mark Zuckerberg said last year that he aims to do. Sandler believes this will increase the amount Facebook Inc (FB) can charge per ad unit while also boosting the amount of time its users spend on its platform.
Although he notes that this transition toward video will have some cannibalization effect, stealing dollars from the traditional ad units and probably resulting in a time of lower margins, he feels that this shift is vital in the long run. Interestingly, he disagrees with the company’s continuing claims that it can’t increase ad load in the News Feed much longer. However, he agrees with the company that it’s more important to raise user engagement and grow the user base than increase revenue.
Next buying opportunity in Facebook stock?
Facebook Inc (FB) stock is up by nearly 24% year to date, which is a healthy gain for just a single quarter. However, the shares could be about to take a breather, according to Serge Berger of The Steady Trader. In a post on InvestorPlace, he noted that the last time he wrote about the stock last month, it looked like it was “coiling up in a tightening technical pattern that took place at its previous all-time highs from 2016.” He also said that any push higher than $135 might set a new upside target at around $140, which Facebook Inc (FB) stock reached by the middle of this month.
Now he adds that the most recent multi-week rally in the shares also carried them to the high end of their multi-year range and recalls that the last time Facebook Inc (FB) stock touched the upper end was in October. Over the few weeks following that point, he said Facebook Inc (FB) stock corrected by about 15% until it reached the lower end of its range.
Now he argues that instead of chasing Facebook Inc (FB) stock steadily higher, investors might want to hold off until it trades closer to its 21-day moving average, which sits around $139. He sees this as the next buying opportunity ahead of a move higher toward $145 or $146.
Shares of Facebook Inc (FB) stock pulled back by as much as 0.12% to $142.47 during regular trading hours on Thursday.