Will Facebook (FB) Stock React to Analyst Note Today?

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Facebook (FB) are slipping, lower by 0.92% to $80.70 in midday trading Tuesday, following comments about its new functions by analysts at Morgan Stanley this morning.

Facebook added new functions including "search" and "trending" for the mobile consumer product, as well as calls to action features for Facebook pages for businesses.

Analysts at the firm said they do not think "that Facebook can meaningfully impact Google's  (GOOGL) search share, despite its improvements to search."

However, in the near term, Morgan Stanley believes Facebook is the winner in the shift to mobile display brand advertising, where it can leverage features such as "trending" to push high-quality, contextualized ad content to users, and calls to action for businesses.

Morgan Stanley added that, "Facebook is building out its platform to expand beyond just social content, as we recently saw Facebook release a verticalized news platform that features only tech news to supplement their newswire."

The company also made improvements to their graph search, now allowing keyword searches to find specific posts.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates FACEBOOK INC as a Hold with a ratings score of C. TheStreet Ratings 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 stock itself is trading at a premium valuation."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • FB's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 28.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 59.0%. 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 0.01 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 12.65, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 76.47% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 41.08% 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.
  • Current return on equity exceeded its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of strength within the company. 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

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