NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Facebook (FB) is the reigning king of social media, managing 76.2% gains over the year. But how does it hold up against these buy-rated tech stocks: Apple (AAPL), Google (GOOG), IBM (IBM) and Micron Technology (MU)?
In the year to date, long-term plays Apple and IBM have shed 2.6% and 3%, Google is up 45.5% and high-momentum mover Micron Technology exploded 194.8%. PowerShares QQQ (QQQ), which tracks the 100 largest nonfinancial companies on the Nasdaq, has increased 27.78% while the S&P 500 is up 25.57%.
By late Wednesday morning, Facebook surged 1.6% to $47.08, Apple was down 0.19% to $518.55, Google edged 0.49% higher to $1,030.23, IBM increased 0.26% to $185.74 and Micron Technology plunged 1.4% to $18.79. The S&P 500 has gained 0.23%.
TheStreet Ratings team rates Facebook Inc as a Hold with a ratings score of C-. The team has this to say about their 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."
Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:
- FB's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 9.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 59.7%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
- FB's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.04 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Along with this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 10.37, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
- Powered by its strong earnings growth of 950% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 119.09% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Setting our sights on the months ahead, however, we feel that the stock's sharp appreciation over the last year has driven it to a price level which is now relatively expensive compared to the rest of its industry. The implication is that its reduced upside potential is not good enough to warrant further investment at this time.
- When compared to other companies in the Internet Software & Services industry and the overall market, Facebook Inc's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
- You can view the full analysis from the report here: FB Ratings Report