This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration. Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
NEW YORK (
TheStreet) - With
Facebook's(FB - Get Report) post-IPO quiet period over, analysts are flooding to cover the social networking phenomenon. Most are cautious but positive overall about the company's prospects, according to a firehose of research released on Wednesday.
The end of the 40-day quiet period means that the IPO underwriters can initiate coverage of the social networking giant, prompting a slew of research notes from the likes of
Morgan Stanley(MS - Get Report),
JPMorgan Chase(JPM - Get Report) and
Goldman Sachs(GS - Get Report).
Lead underwriter Morgan Stanley kicked off its coverage with an 'overweight' rating and a $38 price target.
"We believe that Facebook is uniquely positioned to leverage its large and highly-engaged user base to monetize the mobile Internet," explained Morgan analyst Scott Devitt, in his note. "Facebook is executing against three key priorities: aggregation, product initiatives, and monetization."
Not all analysts, however, were quite as bullish.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch, for example, initiated its coverage with a 'neutral' rating, but acknowledged Facebook's potential.
"Modest user monetization suggests big room for growth," explained analyst Justin Post, in a note, pointing to the company's Average Revenue Per User of $5, compared to
Google's(GOOG) $31. "We expect recently launched new ad formats, including Sponsored Stories in mobile and Promoted Posts to accelerate revenue growth in the second half of 2012, a potential catalyst."
Here's a roundup of Facebook coverage:
Rating: Outperform; Price Target: $41 (12 to 18 month)
RBC Capital Markets
Rating: Outperform; Price Target: $40
Rating: Overweight; Price Target: $38
Wells Fargo Securities
Rating: Outperform; Valuation Range: $37 to $40
Rating: Overweight; Price Target: $41
Rating: Buy; Price Target: $42
Rating: Neutral; Price Target: $35
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Rating: Neutral; Price Target: $38
Rating: Neutral; Price Target: $34
Rating: Sector Perform
Rating: 2-Equal Weight; Price Target: $35
Facebook's botched IPO last month prompted intense criticism of the
Nasdaq OMX Group(NDAQ), which subsequently offered
compensation to financial organizations that lost out in the offering. Morgan Stanley also came under fire for its handling of the IPO.
Shares of Facebook, which have fallen 13.71% since the company's IPO, slipped 0.91% to $32.80 in Wednesday's session.
Written by James Rogers in New York.Follow @jamesjrogers
>To submit a news tip, send an email to:
Check out our new tech blog,
Tech Trends. Follow TheStreet Tech
on your wireless devices.