Facebook Inc (FB): Benchmark Numbers Suggest Solid Growth


Marketing developer partner Nanigans recently released a study about cost per click growth on Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB). The firm said it sees global cost per click on the social network as rising 29% in the second quarter compared to 39% in the previous quarter. However, Evercore Partners analysts think the percentage is too high.

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Facebook Inc (FB): Benchmark Numbers Suggest Solid Growth

Working out Facebook’s numbers

In a report dated July 8, 2014, analysts Ken Sena, Conor McDade and Andrew McNellis said they get to $1.82 average advertising revenue per use for the second quarter when applying 29% cost per click growth. That’s compared to Wall Street’s estimate of around $2.04, which assumes that user growth is flat.

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The analysts said while the previous number would be a miss based on pricing, it doesn’t take into account growth in click volume. As a result, they said Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) would have to have a 12% increase in year over year click volume to meet the average revenue per user expectations set by Nanigans’ benchmark. They say that 125 could be made up of clicks per user, growth in the number of users, or a combination of both of them.

Nanigans’ numbers achievable for Facebook

The Evercore team notes that for the first quarter, Facebook reported 57% growth in ad revenue per user on Nanigans’ projected 39% growth in cost per click. As a result, 18% would have been made up from click volumes, which is more than enough to match this quarter.

They note that last quarter’s 57% growth in average revenue per user included 15% user growth embedded into it. That’s about a 72% average revenue per user growth if keeping users flat with the previous year. The analysts say the 18% difference between Nanigans’ first quarter benchmark and Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s first quarter result appears to have been solely due to higher clicks per user.  In other words, they said Facebook’s volume benefit would have been around 33% if combining new users with new volumes. They say this is very achievable for the second quarter based on the social network’s past trends.

Facebook’s actual numbers don’t match Nanigans’

The analysts also say that when comparing Nanigans’ click-through rates on a sequential basis, there’s a 50% increase to .36% in the second quarter. That’s compared to a seasonally soft first quarter increase of 4%, although they say it’s still a positive signal that volumes plus pricing were “sufficiently strong” during the first quarter.

They also note that Nanigans’ estimates are mainly focused on News Feed ads rather than right rail, so there is going to be a discrepancy between the volume and pricing trends Facebook ends up reporting and what Nanigans reports in its study.

The Evercore team reiterated their Overweight rating and $75 per share price target on Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB). They’re projecting $2.55 billion in ad revenues from the second quarter and $2.77 billion in total quarterly revenues when Facebook reports later this month.

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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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