NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Facebook (FB) - Get Report were higher in late-morning trading on Wednesday as the social network announced it's launching a satellite later this week to extend Internet access to rural areas of sub-Saharan Africa.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg said yesterday during a presentation in Lagos, Nigeria that the satellites will beam down connectivity via solar-powered drones that are "basically like a cellphone tower in the sky."
Facebook opened its first Africa office in Johannesburg last year, and is partnering with Paris-based Eutelstat Communications to launch the satellite, according to Bloomberg. The company hopes that it will expand the site's reach in areas that otherwise wouldn't have the connectivity capability.
Zuckerberg added that network access will be affordable.
As of the end of July, Facebook had 84 million users in sub-Saharan Africa, compared with its 1.7 billion users worldwide, Bloomberg noted. The company tried to combat the region's typically slower Internet connections by rolling out Facebook Lite, a product that can function on slower speeds.
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Separately, TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author. TheStreet Ratings has this to say about the recommendation:
The team rates Facebook as a Buy with a ratings score of A-. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that it rates. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and expanding profit margins. The team feels its strengths outweigh the fact that the company is trading at a premium valuation based on the review of its current price compared to such things as earnings and book value.
You can view the full analysis from the report here: