Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) stock overcomes major resistance. Is the stock headed higher?
The new year seems to have brought strong momentum with it for Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) stock. After declining by more than 10% in last two months of 2016, the stock is up by more than 8% in the last one week, overcoming a major technical resistance on the way. The stock continues to enjoy strong momentum. Facebook stock gained more than 1% yesterday, after reports emerged that the Menlo Park, California based company is planning to introduce "mid-roll" video advertising.
Another Billion Dollar Opportunity?
Quoting industry sources, Recode reported that Facebook will start testing "mid-roll" ad format, allowing video publishers to insert advertisement clips after 20 seconds of the video. Advertisements can only be inserted in videos which are longer than 90 seconds, and the length of the video should not exceed 15 seconds. Facebook is likely to split the ad revenue with the publishers in 55:45 ratio, just like YouTube does.
Online video advertising represents a huge opportunity, as more and more ad dollars are shifting from TV to online. This segment is likely to grow from $8.5B in 2016 to $23.5B by 2020 in the US alone. If the social network giant is able to take a sizeable cut in this market, it will help the company sustain its strong revenue growth. Facebook already allows mid-roll ads in live streaming videos, but the latest move will allow the ads to appear in news feed videos. And videos on Facebook enjoy strong traction with users. According to Zuckerberg, Users are watching more than 100 million hours of video per day on Facebook. Facebook is also testing a dedicated video tab inside its mobile app which will help the platform capture a greater share of the TV ad market. All in all, the move towards monetizing video content will add significantly to its top and bottom line. (Also Read: Is Facebook Inc (FB) Eating YouTube's Lunch- Alphabet Inc (GOOGL)?)
Top Internet Stock Pick For 2017
This latest move could add to the long lists of catalysts for Facebook, which continues to report strong double-digit growth, consistently beating analysts' estimates. Facebook is likely to continue its strong performance throughout the year. Recently, Oppenheimer analyst Jason Helfstein picked Facebook stock as the firm's top internet pick for 2017. The firm sees a "substantial upside to pricing" for Facebook ads, as ad spends witnessed a multifold increase during the Thanksgiving weekend. Analysts are also increasingly bullish on Instagram, which reached the 600 million Monthly Active Users (MAUs) mark in December and is likely to add another 100 million MAUs in next six months.
The stock also earned a buy rating from Aegis Capital, which initiated its coverage on the stock recently with a $145 price target. To quote Aegis Capital analyst Victor Anthony: "On the revenue side, we see user growth, advertiser demand, time spent, live video, video ads, better ad targeting, and Instagram helping to offset the lack of ad load growth,".
Facebook stock crosses major resistance level
The strong momentum has enabled Facebook stock to breach major resistance levels. As can be seen in the chart, Facebook's 50day and 200day SMA's (Simple Moving Average) formed a death cross on Friday. A death cross is a crossover where the short term moving average crosses the long term moving average from the above. It is a strong sell signal. Here, the 50-day moving average crossed the 200-day moving average. However, riding on the momentum, the stock continued to move up. The stock is now testing the 100-day SMA resistance line. The MACD has turned bullish, indicating that the stock continues to have strong upward momentum. If the stock is able to breakout above the resistance line, then it is likely to continue its upward move until the company's earnings due on 1st Feb. (Also read: Facebook Inc Could Gain The Most From A Snapchat IPO In 2017)
Facebook Stock Is An Attractive Buy
Facebook is a fast growing company with strong fundamentals. In Q3, the company reported revenue growth of 55.8%, while earnings more than doubled from the previous year. On the profitability front, the operating margin (ttm) came in at 42%, while the net margin was 30%. The company has a strong balance sheet with more than $24B in cash and zero debt. It generated more than $3.5B cash in operations in the last quarter alone. One of the main concerns surrounding Facebook stock was its sky-high valuation. But Facebook's valuation has been coming down for a while now. Facebook stock is currently trading at a forward PE of 24. While in itself that may not be an attractive valuation, you must also take the strong growth into account. Facebook stock is currently trading at a Forward PEG of 0.89.
Facebook continues to remain a strong favorite of Wall Street, with majority of analysts rating the stock a buy. Oppenheimer recently picked FB stock as its top internet pick for 2017 and Aegis Capital initiated its coverage on FB stock with a buy rating. The consensus price target for the FB stock is $154, which represents more than 23% upside. Facebook continues to remain a strong long-term buy.
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