Facebook Is Poised to Soar After Reporting Third-Quarter Earnings

Social-networking behemoth Facebook (FB) is poised to deliver a stellar quarterly earnings scorecard on Wednesday after the market closes, and the bigger the surprise, the higher the stock will go.

Facebook bulls, get ready. Analysts are already penciling in great numbers for earnings and revenue.

Across the technology sector, earnings have been good this quarter.

Streaming giant Netflix soared after blasting past third-quarter subscriber growth estimates.

Google parent Alphabet also posted third-quarter quarterly results that beat projections.

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Even beleaguered Twitter surpassed third-quarter earnings expectations.

Only ecommerce giant Amazon disappointed, reporting third-quarter earnings that fell short of expectations by a sizable margin.

However, Facebook, with its shares inching close to all-time highs, could push forward rapidly and lead this pack of high-octane tech stocks.

Analysts expect Facebook to report earnings of 97 cents a share, which would be up 70.2% from a year earlier on revenue of $6.92 billion, which would represent a 53.8% increase. Higher user traffic, rising daily engagement levels and impressive advertising metrics are all positives for Facebook.

With as many as four analysts increasing their earnings forecasts in the past 30 days, all signals point to an explosive quarter for Facebook.

Reports show that Facebook's earnings have beaten expectations by an average of 20% over the past three quarters. And this trend is expected to continue.

The presidential elections next week has been a boon for the social-media giant. Facebook has cornered more political advertising dollars than rival social-media rival platforms such as Twitter, driven by its reach and higher return on investment for advertisers.

It is no surprise that Facebook's stock is up more than 25% this year, soundly beating other tech titans Alphabet (up 3.38%), Amazon.com (up 16 %-plus), Apple (up 7.87%) and Twitter (down 22.43%). 

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Further, Facebook's consistent commitment to fostering innovation such as appointment requests, event ticketing, Facebook at Workfood ordering and new in-application camera features has only solidified its position as a tech pioneer. Additionally, Facebook's rapid revenue growth rate and its portfolio of social-media products including Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp have continued to impress.

It is difficult to imagine that Facebook will ever disappear or fall from glory. The company's relevance as a platform to captivate and engage users has grown over the years and shows no signs of slowing.

The 41 analysts with 12-month stock price forecasts for Facebook have a median target of $158 a share, which would represent a nearly 21% increase. There isn't a single sell rating on Facebook, underlining the massive expectations for this much-loved enterprise.

The third quarter should only continue Facebook's profit-making ability.

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The author is an independent contributor who at the time of publication owned none of the stocks mentioned.

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