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Facebook, Inc. operates as a social networking company worldwide. It builds various tools that enable users to connect, share, discover, and communicate with each other on mobile devices and computers. Facebook, Inc. was incorporated in 2004 and is headquartered in Menlo Park, California More
Thursday, Dec 55:27 PMFacebook roundup: Instagram event, advertising push, infrastructure talk
Thursday, Dec 55:27 PM| Comment!
- Instagram (FB) has sent out invites for a Dec. 12 NYC event. The fact many of the invites featured a wooden box with an Instagram photo printed on it has fueled speculation the event will feature the launch of a printing service.
- Some think Instagram, which just began monetizing its service via ads, could make hundreds of millions annually simply by adding a print button to its apps, and taking a cut on orders placed through it.
- AdAge reports Facebook is not-so-subtly telling marketers they won't be able to reach users as effectively going forward via posts published on brand pages (and then distributed for free onto the news feeds of users who "liked" the page), as the company attempts to "make sure people have a meaningful experience on the site."
- While advertisers might view Facebook's efforts as an attempt to sell more ads, they do come amid worries certain users (particularly younger ones) are cutting their Facebook usage as a result of finding their news feeds filled with uninteresting material. AdAge's report comes shortly after Facebook tweaked its news feed algorithm to display more "relevant" news stories.
- During a Credit Suisse conference talk (transcript), infrastructure chief Jason Taylor shined a light on the huge investments that go into optimizing the performance, cost structure, and power efficiency of Facebook's data centers. Among other things, Taylor asserted Facebook only needs one technician for every 20K servers it owns, compared with a 1:450 ratio at other data centers.
Wednesday, Dec 45:30 PMGeneral Growth replacing Molex in S&P 500; Facebook -1.7% AH
Wednesday, Dec 45:30 PM| 5 Comments
- General Growth Properties (GGP) is replacing Molex (set to be acquired by Koch Industries) in the S&P 500 following the Dec. 9 close. GGP is up 5.4% AH on the news.
- Facebook (FB), rumored to be the next company to be added to be added to the index, is selling off on the news after rising 4% in regular trading.
Wednesday, Dec 42:32 PMFacebook higher amid S&P 500 hopes; Instagram exec leaving for Snapchat
Wednesday, Dec 42:32 PM| 4 Comments
- UBS thinks Facebook (FB +3.6%) could be added to the S&P 500 as soon as tonight. Deutsche also believes such a move could happen soon.
- With a market cap of $118B and a 2013 revenue consensus of $7.6B, Facebook's inclusion within the benchmark index appears to be just a matter of time.
- Meanwhile, Instagram exec Emily White, who was in charge of the mobile photo-sharing service's nascent ad efforts, is leaving to become the COO of Snapchat. She could return to the fold one day if Snapchat founder Evan Spiegel has a change-of-heart regarding Facebook's (widely reported) buyout overtures.
Monday, Dec 212:53 PMFacebook reportedly set to buy Indian Android app tool developer
Monday, Dec 212:53 PM| 3 Comments
- The Business Standard reports Facebook (FB -0.6%) is in talks to buy Little Eye Labs, an Indian startup that has developed tools to monitor/analyze Android app performance, and troubleshoot problems. Sources state a deal is expected to be announced over the next few weeks.
- If it happens, the acquisition would strengthen Facebook's efforts to evolve into a de facto platform for developing mobile and Web consumer apps, social-themed or otherwise.
- Those efforts received a major boost earlier this year through the acquisition of popular mobile/Web app development tool platform Parse. They were later strengthened by Facebook's purchase of Onavo, whose mobile utility apps generate mountains of valuable data for third-party developers about how their apps are used.
Friday, Nov 224:38 PMInstagram reportedly prepping messaging services to take on Snapchat
Friday, Nov 224:38 PM| 2 Comments
- "Well-placed sources" tell Om Malik Instagram (FB -1%) is getting ready to launch "private messaging features" for its photo/video-sharing apps. Instagram is also said to be "experimenting with the idea of group messaging." The features are likely to be included in an app update expected by year's end.
- Private and group photo messaging services would represent a challenge to fast-growing Snapchat, widely reported to have snubbed Facebook's M&A overtures. And Instagram, with 150M+ mobile MAUs, high engagement levels, and a solid cachet with younger social media users, is arguably a better platform for launching the features than Facebook proper.
- But as the many mobile photo apps that have failed to slow down Instagram (in spite of adding filter support) can attest, it takes more than adding comparable features to steal a popular social networking/messaging platform's thunder. Last year, Facebook launched a Snapchat-like app called Poke, but it failed to gain much traction.
- Previous: Sandberg defends Facebook's teen usage levels
Friday, Nov 221:04 PMSandberg: Facebook's teen usage healthy, e-commerce ads strong
Friday, Nov 221:04 PM| 15 Comments
- Sheryl Sandberg (FB -0.5%) during an AllThingsD interview: "Overall U.S. teen usage of Facebook remains stable ... The vast majority of U.S. teens are on Facebook. And the majority of U.S. teens use Facebook almost every day."
- The comments are meant to calm growing worries Facebook's popularity is waning among younger U.S. users, and that this trend could have broader long-term implications for Facebook usage. Those fears have been amplified by Facebook's admission it saw a Q/Q drop in U.S. teen DAUs in Q3, and reports it made a rejected $3B+ bid for Snapchat.
- Sandberg insists Facebook's news feed ad business can keep growing thanks to improved ad quality and targeting - new tools such as Custom Audiences and Lookalike Audiences are expected to help - even as Facebook refrains from any further major increases in news feed ad load.
- She also says Facebook is "seeing significant increased [ad] spend among e-commerce companies," and asserts Facebook's popular app install ad product (responsible for 145M downloads as of six weeks ago) is "one of the only ways that people can get their apps discovered."
Thursday, Nov 2110:17 AMFacebook, Monster higher following FBR coverage launches
Thursday, Nov 2110:17 AM| Comment!
- As part of an Internet sector coverage launch, FBR's William Bird has assigned Outperform ratings to Facebook (FB +1.4%) and Monster (MWW +2%), while respectively giving the companies PTs of $60 and $7.
- Taking a big-picture view of things, Bird calls Facebook "an investment in a large-scale data-rich platform run by a group of highly innovative people who are likely to continually develop more ideas for improving engagement and monetizing it."
- Bird adds that while "no one really knows how big Facebook can be," he thinks it has "significant greenfield opportunity in front of it," and that its ad pricing is "inflecting."
- Monster, meanwhile, is called a play on job recovery, strategic initiatives, and buybacks. Bird argues Monster's low valuation (caused in large part by share losses to LinkedIn) minimize risk, and notes buybacks have already lowered the jobs site's share count by 11% this year. He thinks a 60% share count reduction is possible over the next three years.
- Monster flew higher earlier this month after providing mixed Q3 results and above-consensus Q4 EPS guidance, and announcing the sale of a 49.9% stake in Korean site JobKorea.
Monday, Nov 1812:33 PMFacebook leads Web selloff, NYT looks at popularity concerns
Monday, Nov 1812:33 PM| 14 Comments
- Facebook (FB -3.7%) is headlining a selloff in several fast-growing U.S. Internet names; Twitter, which saw Wunderlich start coverage at Sell this morning, is also a notable decliner.
- The NYT has published a column discussing Facebook fatigue among younger users, and discussing the possibility of a future where "where Facebook is no longer the default place on the web where people go to network."
- Among other things, the paper highlights Facebook's recent U.S. teen DAU decline, recent survey data, and the rise of Snapchat, which reportedly turned down a $3B+ buyout offer from Facebook.
- It also reports some developers have said Facebook made an "unusually aggressive" pitch for their support at a recent event, and were less inclined to to partner with the company as a result. Facebook, aided by its acquisition of popular mobile/Web app development platform Parse, wants to become a de facto platform for consumer Web app development.
- The WSJ's Farhad Manjoo argues Facebook doesn't need to be worried about Snapchat's popularity with teens. "Kids are often wrong. There is little evidence to support the idea that the youth have any closer insight on the future than the rest of us do."
- Paul Kedrosky: "Don’t track teen tech usage because they’re brilliant tech futurists. Do it because they, unlike adults, over-sample new services."
- Previous: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and boredom
Wednesday, Nov 132:05 PMFacebook reportedly offered $3B or more for Snapchat, was turned down
Wednesday, Nov 132:05 PM| 29 Comments
- The WSJ reports Facebook (FB +3.1%) offered at least $3B for Snapchat in "recent weeks," but was turned down. The paper had previously reported of a $1B+ offer.
- Snapchat co-founder/CEO Evan Spiegel is said to be unlikely to consider an acquisition at least until early next year, by which time he hopes further growth will allow for a higher valuation. Snapchat currently doesn't have any revenue.
- Chinese messaging/gaming giant Tencent has reportedly offered to lead an investment round in Snapchat that would give the privacy-friendly photo-sharing platform a valuation of $4B (previous).
- The latest report comes a couple weeks after Facebook disclosed it saw a Q/Q drop in U.S. teen DAUs, and amid general concerns Facebook engagement is declining among younger users who view it as more boring than other social media platforms that are more public-facing and/or support a greater degree of anonymity.
- On the other hand, Instagram's popularity among younger U.S. users continues to grow.
Monday, Nov 119:18 AMMorgan Stanley cuts Internet sector view to In-Line, cites valuations
Monday, Nov 119:18 AM| Comment!
- With many Internet names having seen giant 2013 gains that have led P/E and P/S ratios to rise to eye-opening levels, Morgan Stanley is cutting its view of the sector to In-Line from Attractive, even though it thinks industry trends remain healthy.
- Google (GOOG) has been pulled from MS' Best Ideas list. The Web giant's shares are up 44% YTD, but their multiples remain subdued compared with those of some peers: Google currently trades at 16x 2014E EPS after backing out net cash/investments. Shares -0.5% premarket.
- Facebook (FB) -1.3%. Top VC firm Andreessen Horowitz has disclosed the sale of roughly 1/3 of its Facebook stake (2.28M shares).
- The sector has already corrected a bit; shares sold off hard on Thursday as Twitter made its much-hyped debut.
Thursday, Nov 711:48 AMInternet momentum stocks sell off as Twitter soars
Thursday, Nov 711:48 AM| 16 Comments
- Even as Twitter blasts off to a $25B valuation following its much-hyped IPO, U.S. and foreign Internet stocks are giving back some more of the massive 2013 gains that have led many names to trade at steep multiples.
- One sign investors in this space are in a profit-taking mood: Zillow (Z -4.3%) and YY both sold off yesterday in spite of delivering Q3 beats (I, II) and above-consensus guidance; Zillow is adding to its losses today. Likewise, SouFun (SFUN -5.4%) has turned negative after providing a Q3 beat and strong guidance.
- Notable U.S. decliners: FB -2.4%. LNKD -2.8%. GRPN -4.7% (reports after the close). ZNGA -2.7%. P -3.8%. TRLA -5.4%.
- Notable foreign decliners: BIDU -2.4%. QIHU -6.7%. SINA -5% (generally viewed as the Chinese Twitter). DANG -6.2%. VIPS -7.7%. RENN -4.2%. AMAP -4.7%. CTRP -5.7%. YOKU -5.6%. RENN -4.2%. YNDX -5.1%. MELI -2.4% (plunged yesterday thanks to a Q3 miss). SIFY -2.6%.
- Internet/social media ETFs: FDN, PNQI, SOCL
Sunday, Nov 35:30 PMFacebook, Twitter, Instagram, and boredom
Sunday, Nov 35:30 PM| 8 Comments
- "Someone once told me that Facebook (FB) would be a great service if you un-friended 90% of your friends," writes Tech.pinions' Ben Bajarin, highlighting what he views as a core problem with the social networking colossus.
- While Facebook users may initially find "the joy of discovery and connecting" with people they know 'a very sticky experience," the service eventually "becomes more about maintaining than connecting," and feeds filled with far more "noise" than interesting material. Meanwhile, limiting one's friends list to close/interesting contacts would drastically limit the amount of fresh material showing up.
- Twitter (TWTR), as Bajarin notes, has a very different problem. New users can have a much harder time finding contacts who are active users (that might be contributing to Twitter's heavy churn). But those who hang around often find plenty of compelling material delivered by non-contacts.
- Moreover, while Facebook is encroaching on Twitter's turf by encouraging more posting of public material - outside of celebrities and businesses, success has been moderate thus far - Twitter is trying to appeal to Facebook users by allowing images, videos, and cards to appear within timelines.
- Facebook's problem is of particular relevance following a Q3 in which North American MAUs rose by only 1M Q/Q, and U.S. teen DAUs declined; the latter revelation follows surveys and anecdotal reports pointing to declining popularity with U.S. teens, who have acted as trendsetters for many Web services (including Facebook, back in its college-only days). North America accounted for 48% of Facebook's Q3 revenue.
- But while U.S. teens may be cutting down on their Facebook use, they're dialing up their Instagram use just as the mobile photo-sharing platform begins showing feed ads. An online ad exec: "If you factor in Instagram, you would find that Facebook as a company is actually increasing engagement with teens."
Friday, Nov 110:10 AMFacebook adds to post-earnings gains, Argus ups shares to Buy
Friday, Nov 110:10 AM| Comment!
- Even though it quickly gave back the big AH gains it initially saw following its Q3 beat, Facebook (FB +2.7%) is now up 6% post-earnings. Today's gains come with the help of an upgrade to Buy from Argus, which praises Facebook's strong mobile growth and improving engagement.
- Argus downgraded Facebook to Hold on July 26, shortly after the company's Q2 beat. Shares traded at $34 at the time.
- JPMorgan joined the list of Facebook bulls defending the company yesterday; the firm argues rising advertiser interest in Facebook will allow the company to grow its news feed ad revenue via higher prices, even as ad load flattens.
- Since the Q3 report, Facebook's 2014 EPS consensus has risen to $1.11 from $0.99. That still leaves the social networking kingpin trading at 43x 2014E EPS exc. cash.
- Yesterday's sell-side commentary
Thursday, Oct 317:36 AMMixed sell side reaction to Facebook results; stock gains 3.5%
Thursday, Oct 317:36 AM| 6 Comments
- Not spooked by ad trends, BMO downgrades Facebook (FB) from Buy to Hold anyway due to the lack of visibility surrounding the opportunity in Social TV advertising. For the stock to move higher, the Social TV story is needed ... the rest is priced in.
- Deutsche: "We think the ad-load issue is going to weigh on the multiple but don’t see it as net risk to estimates ... would add to positions on pullbacks."
- Noting decelerating user growth, steady newsfeed ad load, and several data points suggesting engagement in developed markets isn't growing that much, Bernstein suggests revenue growth must increasingly come from rising price-per-ad. "We don’t think there is enough visibility into the demand for Facebook ads to make a high conviction call on the stock."
- Calling the big selling amid the CC an "over-reaction," Pivotal Research ups to a Buy with price target lifted to $57 from $48. "So long as [teens] can be reached on Facebook to a degree and so long as FB has a unique capability to reach more total people than any other media owner, Facebook retains advantage in its ad sales efforts against most advertisers."
- Evercore's Ken Sena boosts his estimates and hikes the price target $5 to $65. Even assuming the absence of ad load growth beyond 2014 (which he's not sure will happen), says Sena, his Street-high estimates can still be met thanks to the remaining three ad growth drivers: users, engagement, and pricing.
- Shares +3.5% premarket.
- Last night's earnings coverage.
Wednesday, Oct 306:57 PMMore on Facebook: news feed ads, ARPUs, international growth
Wednesday, Oct 306:57 PM| Comment!
- Facebook (FB) doesn't plan to grow the number of ads it places within news feeds any further, the company disclosed on its CC. With feed ads having fueled Facebook's tremendous revenue growth in recent quarters, the company will now have to focus on growing via other ad sources (Instagram, FBX) and formats (video), and by improving ad prices.
- Also: Sheryl Sandberg has disclosed 20M small businesses now have Facebook pages (up from a prior 18M), and that every advertiser in AdAge's Global 100 is a Facebook client.
- David Ebersman mentions Facebook's tax rate will rise in Q4. However, 2014 capex will be lower than originally planned. Mark Zuckerberg reiterates Facebook will take a cautious approach to Instagram/video ads.
- In its slide deck, Facebook notes its global ARPU rose 8% Q/Q and 33% Y/Y to $1.72 ($1.53 from ads, $0.19 from payments). However, the gap between the company's North American ARPU ($4.85) and its European ($1.96) Asian ($0.81), and rest of world ($0.67) ARPUs remains enormous. North America made up 48% of Q3 revenue vs. 47% in Q2 and 50% a year ago.
- North America has 199M MAUs (+1M Q/Q), Europe 276M (+4M), Asia 351M (+12M), and the rest of the world 362M (+16M). 254M of Facebook's MAUs (21%) are now mobile-only.
- Shares -0.2% AH. CC live blogs: I, II. More on Facebook.
Wednesday, Oct 305:55 PMFacebook gives back AH gains; U.S. teen DAUs decline
Wednesday, Oct 305:55 PM| 10 Comments
- On Facebook's (FB) Q3 CC, CFO David Ebersman admits his company saw a decline in teen daily active users (DAUs), even as usage within the demographic remained steady.
- The disclosure comes amid plenty of commentary (as well as some survey data) suggesting Facebook's popularity with U.S. teens is waning. The company recently changed its teen policy terms, and reportedly made a failed attempt to buy Snapchat, which is quite popular with the demographic.
- Facebook also says it expects its Payments revenue to decline (+24% Y/Y in Q3) in Q4. It's worth noting here Facebook recorded four months of Payments revenue in Q4 2012.
- Mark Zuckerberg once more talks up Facebook's strong mobile engagement rates (previous), pointing to comScore data that indicates Facebook accounts for 20% all U.S. app usage.
- Shares -0.4% AH after being up over 15% immediately following the release of Facebook's Q3 report.
- Q3 results, details. CC live blogs: I, II.
- View all 5 replies
James Sands:: on generating ad revenue, whereas chat entities are not conducive for this, yet...Thanks for the link, it was really interesting.
David Jackson:: Interesting thoughts, James - thanks.
- View all 2 replies
David Jackson:: In other words: Any social network using real names is vulnerable to your cellphone's address book, and the global phone directory.