Two stock analysts lowered their price targets of Facebook, Inc. (FB) stock after the Federal Trade Commission confirmed its probe of the company earlier this week, the latest in a growing number of investigations stemming from the political data firm Cambridge Analytica's misuse of user data.
Facebook has been under fire since news came to light that Cambridge Analytica improperly obtained and used the data of as many as 50 million users in 2014. Facebook is also being investigated by the European Union and facing multiple class-action lawsuits from users and investors.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts Justin Post wrote to investors Tuesday that the FTC investigation, Facebook's collection of Android users' call log data and the news that several advertisers are planning to suspend ad spending on the platform could spell trouble for the company's stock.
On Tuesday early afternoon, Action Alerts Plus holding Facebook shares were down 3.4% after falling 14% last week.
Post wrote that while Facebook's other products such as Instagram and WhatsApp still have high potential, the controversies around Facebook's transparency and security could lead to user erosion. The firm lowered its price target from $230 to $210.
The second price target downgrade came from Aegis Capital analyst Victor Anthony, who wrote Tuesday that he anticipates Facebook will emerge from the scandal "cleaner and in good fundamental shape," but nevertheless had trimmed its price target to $215 from $220 due to increased risk of lower ad spending and more regulation.
Separately, Canaccord Genuity analyst Michael Graham wrote on Monday that while Facebook could face an advertiser backlash, he anticipated that advertisers will likely opt to follow the lead of users. Graham maintained the firm's price target of $240, writing that Facebook's decline is a way for investors to buy the social media giant's stock at an attractive discount.