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Facebook Q2 Revenue Surges 11% Despite COVID-19 Crisis; Target Price $300

Facebook Inc, the world’s largest online social network, reported revenue growth of 11% in the second quarter despite ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and advertising boycott on social media platforms, sending its shares up over 6% pre-market on Friday.

The social media conglomerate said its revenue rose to $18.7 billion in the second quarter, with a net income of $5.2 billion, or $1.80 per share.

That is despite several companies, including UnileverStarbucksCoca-ColaHonda and others, have signed for an advertising boycott of social media platforms including Facebook and Twitter in June. Ben & Jerry’s, Verizon Wireless and Eddie Bauer have also joined the race to pause advertisements for July.

Advertisement sales, the primary source of Facebook’s revenue, jumped 10% to $18.3 billion in the second quarter ended June 30. Facebook’s monthly active users increased 12% year-over-year to 2.70 billion and headcount was 52,534, an increase of 32% year-over-year.

“Due to the strong second-quarter numbers, we have increased our projections for this year and 2021 which resulted in a $265 fair value estimate, up from $245. We recommend waiting for a wider margin of safety before investing in this wide-moat and high uncertainty name,” said Ali Mogharabi, senior equity analyst at Morningstar.

Facebook forecasts its full quarter year-over-year ad revenue growth rate for the third quarter of 2020 will be roughly similar to its July performance and total expenses in the range of $52-55 billion this year, narrowed slightly from the prior range of $52-56 billion. This year’s capital expenditures are anticipated at nearly $16 billion.

Facebook’s shares rose over 6% to $248.8 pre-market on Friday. It has risen over 14% so far in 2020, registering its biggest quarterly rise of more than 35% in the June quarter.

“Facebook 2Q20 results beat on Rev/Op Inc./EPS, as user and engagement strength led to an adv. rebound in May/June vs. April’s flattish levels. FB expects 3Q20 adv revenue +10% y/y (vs. our +9% y/y pre-print estimate). The midpoint of FY20 opex guide was lowered; FY20 capex guide is a bit higher as data center construction resumes. We raised estimate, price target to $290 vs. $280, maintain Outperform. FB shares +7% AH,” said John Blackledge, equity analyst at Cowen.

Facebook stock forecast

Thirty analysts forecast the average price in 12 months at $268.31 with a high forecast of $320.00 and a low forecast of $220.00. The average price target represents a 14.42% increase from the last price of $234.50. From those 30, 27 analysts rated ‘Buy’, three analysts rated ‘Hold’ and none rated ‘Sell’, according to Tipranks.

Just after the earnings result, Credit Suisse upped its target price to $315 from $305; JP Morgan raised its target price to $300 from $290; Cowen and Company raised target price to $290 from $280; RBC raised target price to $290 from $280 and Canaccord Genuity raised it to $290 from $275. Morgan Stanley target price is $285 with a high of $340 under a bull scenario and $200 under the worst-case scenario.

We think it is good to buy at the current level and target at least $300 in the short-term and $400 in a best-case scenario as 100-day Moving Average signals a strong buying opportunity.

Analyst comment

“Monetization Potential: We are positive on FB’s monetization roll-out of Instagram as well as FB’s ability to continue to innovate and improve its monetization (Canvas Ads, Dynamic Ads, video). Combined with the high and growing engagement we see monetization upside going forward, Brian Nowak, equity analyst at Morgan Stanley noted.

“Investing from Position of Strength to Drive Faster Long-Term Growth: We are modelling 11% GAAP opex (excl. one-time items) growth in 2020, implying an incremental $5 billion in opex. Our base case model implies opex per employee moderates in ’20 while FB hiring remains roughly flat on an absolute basis. We believe FB will grow EPS at a 14% CAGR (2019-2022),” he added.