Merit Financial Group LLC Increases Stake in Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ:FB)

Merit Financial Group LLC boosted its holdings in Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) by 6.5% during the 1st quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 3,025 shares of the social networking company’s stock after acquiring an additional 185 shares during the quarter. Merit Financial Group LLC’s holdings in Facebook were worth $504,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds have also bought and sold shares of FB. Rovida Advisors Inc. purchased a new position in Facebook in the 3rd quarter worth $18,714,000. Ruggie Capital Group increased its stake in shares of Facebook by 53.8% in the fourth quarter. Ruggie Capital Group now owns 446 shares of the social networking company’s stock worth $58,000 after purchasing an additional 156 shares in the last quarter. Heritage Investors Management Corp lifted its position in Facebook by 13.1% during the fourth quarter. Heritage Investors Management Corp now owns 36,210 shares of the social networking company’s stock valued at $4,747,000 after purchasing an additional 4,190 shares during the last quarter. Altshuler Shaham Ltd lifted its position in Facebook by 12,051.8% during the third quarter. Altshuler Shaham Ltd now owns 417,657 shares of the social networking company’s stock valued at $68,688,000 after purchasing an additional 414,220 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Quantamental Technologies LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Facebook in the fourth quarter valued at $80,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 61.73% of the company’s stock.

Several research firms have recently weighed in on FB. Nomura lifted their target price on shares of Facebook from $215.00 to $226.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, April 25th. Raymond James lifted their price objective on Facebook from $200.00 to $225.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Thursday, April 25th. DZ Bank upgraded Facebook from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 30th. Monness Crespi & Hardt restated a “buy” rating and issued a $250.00 price objective (up previously from $225.00) on shares of Facebook in a report on Thursday, April 25th. Finally, ValuEngine raised Facebook from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, April 25th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and forty-two have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $210.44.

FB stock traded up $4.74 during trading on Monday, reaching $186.07. 8,305,503 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 16,403,517. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.08, a quick ratio of 5.38 and a current ratio of 5.38. Facebook, Inc. has a 1-year low of $123.02 and a 1-year high of $218.62. The firm has a market capitalization of $517.60 billion, a PE ratio of 24.58, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.12 and a beta of 0.96.

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, April 24th. The social networking company reported $0.85 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.65 by ($0.80). The company had revenue of $15.08 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $14.97 billion. Facebook had a return on equity of 23.67% and a net margin of 33.17%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 26.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the firm earned $1.69 earnings per share. Equities research analysts predict that Facebook, Inc. will post 8 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, VP Colin Stretch sold 750 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, March 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $161.50, for a total value of $121,125.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 103,872 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $16,775,328. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, CEO Mark Zuckerberg sold 255,050 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, April 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $176.27, for a total value of $44,957,663.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders sold 1,551,104 shares of company stock worth $275,456,299. Insiders own 14.53% of the company’s stock.

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Facebook, Inc provides various products to connect and share through mobile devices, personal computers, and other surfaces worldwide. The company's products include Facebook that enables people to connect, share, discover, and communicate with each other on mobile devices and personal computers; Instagram, a community for sharing photos, videos, and messages; Messenger, a messaging application for people to connect with friends, family, groups, and businesses across platforms and devices; and WhatsApp, a messaging application for use by people and businesses to communicate in a private way.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Facebook (NASDAQ:FB)

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