NEW YORK (
third-quarter earnings are set for Wednesday and with so much momentum behind the company and the stock, Wall Street has been exceptionally positive on the social network as of late. In fact, one analyst believes shares could jump another 20% from here.
Credit Suisse analyst Stephen Ju raised his price target to $61, some 20% higher than current levels, given the prospects for 2014 earnings amid increased mobile monetization.
"While we maintain our positive bias on FB with the company set to capitalize on the continued movement of brand advertising budgets online, with shares already reflecting what we believe are near-to-medium term benefits of both mobile monetization as well as FBX, we maintain our Neutral rating for now," Ju wrote in a report.
Ju is raising his full-year 2013 and 2014 estimates for the social networking giant because of strength in advertising revenue. He now expects Facebook's revenue in 2013 to rise by 5.7% and in 2014 by 15.1%. Of that advertising revenue, Ju projects $3.1 billion in 2013 and $6.2 billion in 2014 will come from mobile advertising.
For the third quarter, Ju expects Facebook to generate $1.9 billion in revenue, with $888 million coming from mobile advertising.
Analysts surveyed by
are looking for Facebook to generate earnings of 18 cents a share on $1.91 billion in revenue.
Facebook's mobile business has turned from a source of investor skepticism at the time of the company's initial public offering to a source of delight. Earlier this year, Facebook Chief Financial Officer David Ebersman told
the company fully transitioned to becoming a mobile company in 2012 and it expects to stay that way. "2012 was the year Facebook became a mobile company," Ebersman said in
. "Mobile provides a huge opportunity for Facebook, and we're working to make sure our ad products work well on mobile."
In the second quarter, Facebook's mobile revenue accounted for 41% of the company's $1.6 billion in total advertising revenue, up 61% year-over-year. That is part of a larger trend, as the company has improved mobile revenue each quarter this year. In the first quarter of 2013, mobile revenue accounted for 30% of total advertising revenue.
Shares of Facebook were lower in Monday trading, off 3.8% to $49.97.
Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York