NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - With Facebook's (FB) 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
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:
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