By Paul Shea
Facebook's ad display platform is key to growth according to Brian Novak
Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) is in a strong position to garner revenue from the ads business, and its Q2 results should demonstrate that ability, or at least that's the opinion of the company held by Susquehanna analyst Brian Nowak. According to a new report from the research firm, Facebook is likely to show some upside on guidance when it releases its results for the second quarter of 2014.
According to the report Facebook, along with much of the internet sector, is due to show strong results from the period. The analyst is especially bullish on Mark Zuckerberg's company and believes that its prospects, based on a couple of unique attributes, are good for the period.
Mobile log in is key Facebook asset
According to the Susquehanna report, Facebook has a key advantage over many of its competitors. Its users tend to be logged on to the social network on their smartphones at all times. That gives the company an incredible array of information it can use to better target ads towards its users, and increase CPM, or cost per impression.
That number is still low at Facebook, but Mr. Novak expects to see improvement in the second quarter. The future of the key advertising measure is set to rely on Facebook's ability to track a user's entire mobile experience through their Facebook log in. The company's mobile display ads business is still fledging, but that persistent log in may be enough to push it ahead of the competition.
According to Mr. Novak, "In fact, we believe mobile advertising is ramping even faster recently because Facebook mobile is the only mobile display platform offering scale at this level (~1bn monthly mobile users). And because Facebook users are logged in, their platform also allows for better mobile targeting than other offerings."
Facebook earnings incoming
Facebook is set to release its financials for the three months through June on July 23. Mr. Novak is expecting the company to show earnings of 34 cents per share for the quarter, ahead of consensus projections of 32 cents EPS. Revenue is, according to the report, expected to come in at $2.67 billion. The consensus estimate for the same is $2.56 billion.
The analyst is bullish on the prospects of Mark Zuckerberg's company, and put a price target of $76 per share on the company ahead of its earnings release. The last report that Susquehanna released on Facebook set a price target of $72. Mr. Novak is clearly a fan of the direction in which Facebook is heading.
On today's market, stock in the company traded up strongly. At time of writing, the company's shares had risen by close to 2.5% to hit $66.45. So far this year, the firm value has increased by more than 20%, beating an S&P 500 that gained 6% since January 1. Whether or not Facebook can keep that kind of performance up is difficult to predict, but the Susquehanna analyst seems confident in his predictions of green days ahead in Menlo Park.