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A report last month showing a decline in Facebook usage in the U.S. made Wall Street nervous.Fret not: According to Rory Maher of Capstone Investments, who does his own proprietary analysis of activity on Facebook, usage went up around the world from August 15 to September 15—up 1.5% in that 30-day period.
The reason’s not shocking: Students went back to school and adults got back to work. But the revival in growth is reassuring. In his note to clients, Maher says “the past month was one of the fastest-growing during the past six months for Facebook users.”
Maher also estimated advertising spending from the top 500 brands over the same mid-August-to-mid-September period. His figure: $40 million, down from the prior period which included the Olympics. The top 500 brand pages also increased their fan counts by 3 per cent. Beverage brands led, with 7 of the top 10 pages by fans gained.
Maher’s also bullish on ad spending in the second half, in part because of the US election.
Social gaming was surprisingly strong, with monthly users up 12.7 per cent and daily users up 15.3 per cent in the period studied. Maher’s conclusion: The decrease in Zynga’s numbers is a Zynga problem, not a Facebook problem.
Maher estimates that revenues will grow 32 per cent in the second half of 2012 and EBITDA will increase 37 per cent and says the stock is at “an attractive entrypoint.”
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