Facebook hits an all-time high ahead of earnings

Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesFacebook co-founder, Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Facebook rose as much as 0.7% in trading Wednesday to hit a new record high of $US216.30 a share as the social media giant prepares to report its second-quarter earnings after the closing bell.

Analysts polled by Bloomberg expect the social-media giant to report adjusted earnings of $US2.01 a share on revenue of $US13.33 billion, both above last quarter as well as the same period of 2017.

Shares have largely shrugged off the spring slump that followed the data-privacy scandal surrounding the firm Cambridge Analytica. They are now up 18% since the beginning of the year.

Despite the criticism from advertisers and users, ad revenue and engagement should be healthy, according to Daniel Ives, a technology analyst at GBH Insights.

“While this has been the darkest chapter in Facebook’s 14-year history, based on our recent user and advertising checks we believe the company has seen minimal speed bumps in 2Q around advertising strength and user engagement trends which is a healthy sign looking ahead in our opinion for Facebook (and its investors),” Ives said in a note to clients this week.

“After a key 1Q earnings test in April which Facebook performed well while passing the regulatory hearings in both US and Europe with flying colours, now the focus for the Street is around 2Q as another “pivotal barometer” this week to gauge any fundamental damage (advertising, MAU growth) post the Cambridge situation and News Feed overhaul moves.”

Ives has a $US225 price target for Facebook.

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