Facebook (FB - Get Report) probably created a "self-inflicted" wound by unveiling a widely criticized plan to create its own Libra cryptocurrency, but the social-media giant's overall business is so solid that you should buy the stock on any major pullback, Jim Cramer says.
"My take is that if you get a big sell-off, you can get back into Facebook because the business is strong," Cramer said during an exclusive video-conference call with members of his Action Alerts PLUS club for investors.
He admitted that Facebook's headline risk "is terrible," with the company's plan to launch its own cryptocurrency widely panned. President Donald Trump, U.S. Congress members, G-7 finance ministers and others have sharply criticized the proposal.
....Similarly, Facebook Libra's "virtual currency" will have little standing or dependability. If Facebook and other companies want to become a bank, they must seek a new Banking Charter and become subject to all Banking Regulations, just like other Banks, both National...— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 12, 2019
"They bring Libra on [and] it was an error," Cramer said. "It's not a bad product, but they're back in the news [for the wrong reasons]."
Cramer said the the Libra controversy undid the benefits of a $5 billion settlement that Facebook recently reached with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to resolve issues over the Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which third-party vendor Cambridge Analytica managed to get personal information from many Facebook users.
"They just spent $5 billion [to settle with] the FTC, and what did they get? Nothing," he said.
On the other hand, Cramer and his team of Action Alerts PLUS analysts believe that Facebook's underlying business strength -- especially its ability to pinpoint specific consumers for targeted advertising based on Facebook users' interests -- outweighs such negatives.
Jeff Marks, AAP's senior portfolio analyst, said that FB's Instagram unit "is doing very well, [and] people aren't leaving the Facebook platform, as everyone was afraid they would nine months ago. So the business is still doing well. ... They give unique value [in] what they give advertisers."
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