Stifel Nicolaus Downgrades Facebook (FB) to Hold

Stifel Nicolaus Downgrades Facebook (FB) to Hold

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) was downgraded by analysts at Stifel Nicolaus from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report issued on Wednesday, Marketbeat.com reports. They currently have a $150.00 target price on the social networking company’s stock. Stifel Nicolaus’ price objective indicates a potential upside of 7.43% from the company’s current price.

The analysts wrote, “We are lowering our rating on Facebook shares to and maintaining our $150 target price. Facebook’s management team has created too many adversaries – politicians/ regulators, tech leaders, consumers, and employees – to not experience long-term negative ramifications on its business. The political and regulatory blowback seems like it may lead to restrictions on how Facebook operates, over time. Many leaders of Silicon Valley, including respected voices Cook, have turned against Facebook due to differences in corporate values. Most importantly, consumers and some employees seem to have grown disenchanted with the company.””

FB has been the topic of a number of other research reports. Wells Fargo & Co set a $220.00 target price on shares of Facebook and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, October 29th. Cleveland Research reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Facebook in a research report on Thursday, September 13th. UBS Group decreased their target price on shares of Facebook from $180.00 to $160.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, October 31st. Credit Suisse Group decreased their target price on shares of Facebook from $225.00 to $210.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a research report on Monday, October 8th. Finally, Pivotal Research decreased their target price on shares of Facebook from $140.00 to $131.00 and set a “sell” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, October 12th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating, thirty-seven have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Facebook has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $191.80.

Shares of FB stock opened at $139.63 on Wednesday. The stock has a market cap of $400.69 billion, a PE ratio of 22.67, a PEG ratio of 0.87 and a beta of 0.57. Facebook has a twelve month low of $126.85 and a twelve month high of $218.62.

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, October 30th. The social networking company reported $1.76 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.46 by $0.30. Facebook had a net margin of 37.57% and a return on equity of 27.89%. The company had revenue of $13.73 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $13.82 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $1.59 earnings per share. Facebook’s revenue for the quarter was up 32.9% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts expect that Facebook will post 7.36 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, insider Susan J.S. Taylor sold 2,268 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $135.81, for a total transaction of $308,017.08. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 2,112 shares in the company, valued at $286,830.72. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, COO Sheryl Sandberg sold 55,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, September 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $166.07, for a total transaction of $9,133,850.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 518,103 shares of company stock worth $79,159,534 over the last 90 days. Insiders own 17.23% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in FB. Marble Arch Investments LP boosted its holdings in shares of Facebook by 40.8% in the first quarter. Marble Arch Investments LP now owns 451,900 shares of the social networking company’s stock valued at $72,209,000 after acquiring an additional 130,900 shares during the period. Knott David M acquired a new stake in shares of Facebook in the first quarter valued at approximately $3,196,000. Immersion Capital LLP acquired a new stake in shares of Facebook in the first quarter valued at approximately $65,194,000. Natixis boosted its holdings in shares of Facebook by 420.1% in the first quarter. Natixis now owns 789,988 shares of the social networking company’s stock valued at $126,232,000 after acquiring an additional 638,106 shares during the period. Finally, City Financial Investment Co Ltd acquired a new stake in shares of Facebook in the first quarter valued at approximately $15,979,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 58.42% of the company’s stock.

Facebook Company Profile

Facebook, Inc provides various products to connect and share through mobile devices, personal computers, and other surfaces worldwide. Its products include Facebook Website and mobile application that enables people to connect, share, discover, and communicate with each other on mobile devices and personal computers; Instagram, a community for sharing visual stories through photos, videos, and direct messages; Messenger, a messaging application to communicate with other people, groups, and businesses across various platforms and devices; and WhatsApp, a mobile messaging application.

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