NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Ahead of reporting third-quarter results at month's end, Facebook (FB) has been given a boost on reaffirmed support from Goldman analyst Heather Bellini. In a research note released on Thursday, Bellini said there could be upside to mobile advertising consensus of $791 million, a 20% quarter-on-quarter growth, for the third quarter.
"With the majority of our contacts reporting significant quarter-on-quarter growth in mobile spend and larger budget share for mobile, we see upside risk to both our mobile estimate and consensus," Bellini wrote.
Goldman reiterates its "buy" rating with a price target of $58, encouraged by "powerful new product cycles relating to video ads, Instagram and even graph search".
The social network gained 2.1% to $52.21 by market close, then added a further 0.88% in after-hours trading. Facebook shares are up 96.1% this year, easily outpacing the S&P 500 which has added 21.51%.
Facebook will report third-quarter earnings on Oct. 30. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters anticipate net income of $454.54 million on revenue of $1.9 billion.
TheStreet Ratings team rates Facebook as a Hold with a ratings score of C-. The team has this to say about its recommendation:
"We rate Facebook Inc (FB) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed -- some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. 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 and impressive record of earnings per share growth. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company's return on equity has been disappointing."