Facebook’s (FB) Buy Rating Reiterated at Barclays

Barclays reaffirmed their buy rating on shares of Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) in a research report sent to investors on Friday morning. The brokerage currently has a $180.00 price objective on the social networking company’s stock.

Several other equities research analysts have also commented on the stock. BidaskClub lowered shares of Facebook from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 3rd. Nomura began coverage on shares of Facebook in a research note on Tuesday, July 10th. They set a buy rating and a $228.00 price target on the stock. Piper Jaffray Companies lifted their price objective on shares of Facebook to $250.00 and gave the company an in-line rating in a research note on Friday, July 20th. UBS Group lowered shares of Facebook from a buy rating to a neutral rating and dropped their price objective for the company from $212.00 to $180.00 in a research note on Thursday, July 26th. Finally, Raymond James lowered shares of Facebook from a strong-buy rating to an outperform rating and set a $210.00 price objective on the stock. in a research note on Thursday, July 26th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating, thirty-eight have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. Facebook has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $206.89.

FB stock opened at $162.32 on Friday. Facebook has a 52-week low of $149.02 and a 52-week high of $218.62. The stock has a market cap of $470.61 billion, a PE ratio of 22.44, a PEG ratio of 1.04 and a beta of 0.49.

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 25th. The social networking company reported $1.74 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.75 by ($0.01). The business had revenue of $13.23 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $13.35 billion. Facebook had a net margin of 39.31% and a return on equity of 28.16%. The firm’s revenue was up 41.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $1.32 EPS. research analysts predict that Facebook will post 7.08 earnings per share for the current year.

In other Facebook news, Director Peter Thiel sold 2,256 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, July 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $175.95, for a total transaction of $396,943.20. Following the transaction, the director now owns 8,308 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,461,792.60. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, VP Colin Stretch sold 750 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, September 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $163.25, for a total transaction of $122,437.50. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 96,144 shares in the company, valued at approximately $15,695,508. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 9,629,413 shares of company stock valued at $1,857,165,307 over the last 90 days. Insiders own 17.23% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Santori & Peters Inc. bought a new position in shares of Facebook during the 4th quarter valued at about $116,000. Risk Paradigm Group LLC boosted its position in shares of Facebook by 81.4% during the 4th quarter. Risk Paradigm Group LLC now owns 655 shares of the social networking company’s stock valued at $116,000 after purchasing an additional 294 shares in the last quarter. Cribstone Capital Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Facebook by 186.2% during the 2nd quarter. Cribstone Capital Management LLC now owns 624 shares of the social networking company’s stock valued at $121,000 after purchasing an additional 406 shares in the last quarter. IMA Wealth Inc. bought a new position in shares of Facebook during the 2nd quarter valued at about $122,000. Finally, Trust Department MB Financial Bank N A bought a new position in shares of Facebook during the 2nd quarter valued at about $134,000. 60.42% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Facebook

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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