Breakout

After 75% Rally, Will Facebook Crush Q4 Earnings Estimates?

Breakout

To say expectations are high for Facebook's (FB) fourth quarter earnings results this afternoon would be like saying the social media website has a lot of users. In both cases, the devil is in the details, and investors are hungry to see if they got what they paid for these past few months.

"I expect a big number," says Eric Jackson, shareholder and founder of Ironfire Capital, in the attached video. "I think Facebook probably had a great fourth quarter, it's their biggest quarter of the year."

But whether big will be big enough to satisfy investors who have seen the stock rise nearly 50% in three months remains to be seen, as Jackson says "people have been piling in since the end of the monster lock-up in November."

Related: Facebook Shares Heading Back to $38 IPO Price, Says Kilburg

Officially, analysts are expecting earnings per share of $0.15 on revenues of $1.5 billion. But Jackson, and many other investors, are worried that anything less than a healthy beat could trigger a round of profit taking after the stock's big run up.

There's no denying that Facebook is expensive, as it currently trades at 47-times this year's estimated earnings. At roughly $31 a share, the company has grown to an $80 billion market cap, making it the 11th largest member of the Nasdaq 100 index (^NDX), and ahead of more financially robust companies licks Amgen (AMGN) and Ebay (EBAY).

While Facebook's recently announced graph search is still in its infancy, Jackson says the company is throwing so many things at the wall right now that at least a few of them are bound to stick and make money, and more importantly, ''grow into its valuations."

Facebook earnings are schedule to be released after the close of trading Wednesday. This will be its third report since going public at $38 share last May.

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