Facebook, Inc. (FB) Earns “Sell” Rating from Pivotal Research

Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ:FB)‘s stock had its “sell” rating reaffirmed by investment analysts at Pivotal Research in a report released on Thursday. They currently have a $136.00 target price on the social networking company’s stock. Pivotal Research’s price objective would suggest a potential downside of 24.47% from the company’s previous close.

The analysts wrote, “We continue to rate the stock Sell. Facebook reported spectacular 3Q17 earnings featuring revenue growth of +47% (including advertising revenue growth of +43%), operating income margins of 50% and EPS of $1.59. This compared with our forecasts of +42% (with advertising revenue growth of +43%), operating income margins of 43% and EPS of $1.24 and consensus that was similar on revenue expectations, but higher on profitability.””

FB has been the topic of several other reports. Barclays PLC reiterated an “overweight” rating and set a $168.00 price objective (up from $160.00) on shares of Facebook in a research report on Wednesday, July 12th. Jefferies Group LLC reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $192.00 price objective (up from $175.00) on shares of Facebook in a research report on Thursday, July 27th. Vetr upgraded Facebook from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $180.74 price objective on the stock in a research report on Monday, September 25th. Royal Bank Of Canada reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $185.00 price objective on shares of Facebook in a research report on Tuesday, July 11th. Finally, Morgan Stanley reiterated an “overweight” rating and set a $195.00 price objective (up from $190.00) on shares of Facebook in a research report on Monday, October 2nd. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating, forty-five have assigned a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Facebook currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $191.18.

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 31st. The social networking company reported $1.59 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.28 by $0.31. The firm had revenue of $10.33 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $9.84 billion. Facebook had a return on equity of 21.73% and a net margin of 38.84%. The company’s revenue was up 47.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $1.09 EPS.

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In other news, CEO Mark Zuckerberg sold 248,984 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $170.69, for a total transaction of $42,499,078.96. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, VP Colin Stretch sold 750 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $171.88, for a total value of $128,910.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 82,406 shares in the company, valued at approximately $14,163,943.28. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 8,306,683 shares of company stock worth $1,441,300,245 over the last three months. 19.08% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Arcadia Investment Management Corp MI grew its stake in shares of Facebook by 20.0% during the first quarter. Arcadia Investment Management Corp MI now owns 721 shares of the social networking company’s stock valued at $102,000 after buying an additional 120 shares during the last quarter. D. Scott Neal Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Facebook by 1,358.0% in the second quarter. D. Scott Neal Inc. now owns 729 shares of the social networking company’s stock valued at $110,000 after purchasing an additional 679 shares during the period. Farmers & Merchants Investments Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Facebook by 4.4% in the second quarter. Farmers & Merchants Investments Inc. now owns 809 shares of the social networking company’s stock valued at $122,000 after purchasing an additional 34 shares during the period. Pacific Center for Financial Services boosted its holdings in shares of Facebook by 10.7% in the first quarter. Pacific Center for Financial Services now owns 910 shares of the social networking company’s stock valued at $129,000 after purchasing an additional 88 shares during the period. Finally, Mountain Capital Investment Advisors Inc purchased a new stake in shares of Facebook in the second quarter valued at approximately $138,000. 57.27% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Facebook

Facebook, Inc is focused on building products that enable people to connect and share through mobile devices, personal computers and other surfaces. The Company’s products include Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, WhatsApp and Oculus. Facebook enables people to connect, share, discover and communicate with each other on mobile devices and personal computers.

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