Facebook can’t buy a break.The stock is off 4% this morning after it got a mixed report from Bernstein analyst Carlos Kirjner.
Kirjner raised his rating on Facebook to Market Perform from Underperform, reports Eric Savitz at Forbes. He has a $23 price target on the stock.
While that all sounds good, he also basically tells investors he only thinks the stock is really worth $19. The other $4 is what Facebook might do some day that will be awesome:
“We believe that Facebook is worth $19/share (10 times estimated 2014 EBITDA plus cash) valued just as a display advertising business gaining market share due to its fundamental competitive advantages based on scale, user data and identity … These $19/share do not assume upside from its social advertising capabilities and do not give Facebook any credit for upside from yet-to-be-defined businesses based on its distinctive assets, such as its social graph. Because these ‘upside’ opportunities are still highly uncertain, we value them at $4/share based on our sizing of such upside opportunities and our judgment of the probabilities they will come through, leading us to our $23/share valuation.”
His note only gets more negative from there:
“The decline in European CPMs [in the June quarter], attributed by management to poor macro environment, suggests that Internet advertisers in Europe are not yet convinced of Facebook’s high ROI … The fact that Facebook’s revenue trajectory and key metrics are already affected this heavily and this early by external drivers such as seasonality and macro give us pause. To us, this suggests that either the ROI on Facebook advertising is just not that attractive, or the company has a long and arduous path to making it transparent to advertisers.”
And finally …
“As it has been well known, over 211 million shares will be added to Facebook’s current float of 484 million shares in August, an increase of nearly 40%, up to 355 million shares will be added to the float in October (an 73% increase versus the current float), and 1,339 million in November (an 276% increase compared to the current float)… While these are well known facts and should (in theory) be already reflected in the stock price, history suggests that there is a good chance of transient pressure on the stock price as liquidity increases abruptly. We would see a buying opportunity if FB were to trade around or below $19/share.”