Critical News Coverage Likely to Affect Facebook (FB) Stock Price

Media stories about Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) have been trending negative recently, according to InfoTrie Sentiment Analysis. The research group rates the sentiment of media coverage by reviewing more than 6,000 news and blog sources in real-time. The firm ranks coverage of public companies on a scale of negative five to positive five, with scores closest to five being the most favorable. Facebook earned a news sentiment score of -2.74 on their scale. InfoTrie also assigned news stories about the social networking company an news buzz score of 7 out of 10, indicating that recent media coverage is likely to have an effect on the stock’s share price in the near future.

Here are some of the media stories that may have impacted Facebook’s score:

FB has been the subject of several research reports. Cleveland Research restated a “buy” rating on shares of Facebook in a report on Monday. Royal Bank of Canada set a $200.00 price objective on shares of Facebook and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday. Goldman Sachs Group set a $200.00 target price on shares of Facebook and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday. Wedbush reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $200.00 price target on shares of Facebook in a research report on Monday. Finally, BMO Capital Markets upped their price target on shares of Facebook to $190.00 and gave the stock a “positive” rating in a research report on Monday. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and forty have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $192.83.

NASDAQ:FB traded down $1.20 during trading hours on Wednesday, reaching $182.58. 23,758,514 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 18,924,775. The stock has a market capitalization of $517.90 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.12, a PEG ratio of 1.30 and a beta of 0.88. Facebook has a 1 year low of $123.02 and a 1 year high of $218.62.

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, January 30th. The social networking company reported $2.38 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.18 by $0.20. The business had revenue of $16.91 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $16.40 billion. Facebook had a return on equity of 27.51% and a net margin of 39.60%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 30.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $1.44 EPS. Sell-side analysts predict that Facebook will post 7.54 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, COO Sheryl Sandberg sold 55,000 shares of Facebook stock in a transaction on Tuesday, April 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $179.44, for a total value of $9,869,200.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Mark Zuckerberg sold 108,000 shares of Facebook stock in a transaction on Wednesday, April 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $179.13, for a total value of $19,346,040.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 1,539,435 shares of company stock valued at $269,965,163. Corporate insiders own 14.53% of the company’s stock.

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Facebook Company Profile

Facebook, Inc provides various products to connect and share through mobile devices, personal computers, and other surfaces worldwide. The company's products include Facebook that enables people to connect, share, discover, and communicate with each other on mobile devices and personal computers; Instagram, a community for sharing photos, videos, and messages; Messenger, a messaging application for people to connect with friends, family, groups, and businesses across platforms and devices; and WhatsApp, a messaging application for use by people and businesses to communicate in a private way.

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