NEW YORK (TheStreet) --Facebook (FB) reported stronger than expected 2016 third quarter financial results after the market close on Wednesday.

The social media giant posted earnings of $1.09 per share on revenue of $7.01 billion. Analysts' were projecting earnings of 97 cents per share on revenue of $6.93 billion.

Despite the top and bottom line beat, Facebook offered cautionary guidance for 2017.

The company expects ad revenue growth rates to decline "meaningfully" and for 2017 to be an "aggressive" investment year, CFO David Wehner said on last night's conference call.

Recode managing editor Ed Lee tackled the issue of Facebook's advertising revenue growth during Thursday afternoon's "Power Lunch" on CNBC.

"The ad loads have topped off; they have showed you as many ads as you'll be able to bear in your newsfeed. What they need to do to boost growth is they need higher cost ads or higher rate ads. I think that's why they have been pushing video for the past year," he explained.

Video ads allow the company to charge more, and at a higher rate, Lee said. "That's the direction really any publisher is heading."

Currently, there is a maturing of the online advertising market, and a deceleration of traditional advertising channels like print, he noted.

"There's this weird gap now where the online ads aren't quite performing the way they want them to, but there is more money flowing in," Lee added, "It's just being split among so many different channels and platforms."

Shares of Facebook were lower 5.96% to $119.59 in mid-afternoon trading on Thursday.

More than 51.33 million shares have traded so far today vs. the 30-day average of 16.84 million.

(Facebook is held in Jim Cramer's charitable trust Action Alerts PLUS. See all of his holding with a free trial here.)

Separately, TheStreet Ratings Team has a "Buy" rating with a score of A- on the stock.

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.

Recently, 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.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: FB


If you liked this article you might like

Buy Stocks That Are Right for You: Cramer's 'Mad Money' Recap (Friday 2/16/18)

Buy Stocks That Are Right for You: Cramer's 'Mad Money' Recap (Friday 2/16/18)

How Jim Cramer Knew to Sell Just Before The Dow Jones Industrial Average Tanked

How Jim Cramer Knew to Sell Just Before The Dow Jones Industrial Average Tanked

General Electric Is One Mega-Cap Stock You Must Still Avoid

General Electric Is One Mega-Cap Stock You Must Still Avoid

Stock Markets Are Booming Again but Panties Prices Continue to Plunge

Stock Markets Are Booming Again but Panties Prices Continue to Plunge

Jim Cramer: Short Footprints Everywhere

Jim Cramer: Short Footprints Everywhere