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Facebook (FB) Outpaces Stock Market Gains: What You Should Know

Zacks Equity Research

Facebook (FB) closed at $190.77 in the latest trading session, marking a +1.94% move from the prior day. This move outpaced the S&P 500's daily gain of 1.3%. At the same time, the Dow added 1.41%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq gained 1.75%.

Prior to today's trading, shares of the social media company had gained 1.07% over the past month. This has outpaced the Computer and Technology sector's loss of 0.14% and the S&P 500's gain of 0.46% in that time.

Investors will be hoping for strength from FB as it approaches its next earnings release. In that report, analysts expect FB to post earnings of $1.94 per share. This would mark year-over-year growth of 10.23%. Meanwhile, our latest consensus estimate is calling for revenue of $17.33 billion, up 26.23% from the prior-year quarter.

FB's full-year Zacks Consensus Estimates are calling for earnings of $6.39 per share and revenue of $70.31 billion. These results would represent year-over-year changes of -15.59% and +25.91%, respectively.

It is also important to note the recent changes to analyst estimates for FB. Recent revisions tend to reflect the latest near-term business trends. With this in mind, we can consider positive estimate revisions a sign of optimism about the company's business outlook.

Our research shows that these estimate changes are directly correlated with near-term stock prices. To benefit from this, we have developed the Zacks Rank, a proprietary model which takes these estimate changes into account and provides an actionable rating system.

The Zacks Rank system ranges from #1 (Strong Buy) to #5 (Strong Sell). It has a remarkable, outside-audited track record of success, with #1 stocks delivering an average annual return of +25% since 1988. Within the past 30 days, our consensus EPS projection has moved 0.9% higher. FB is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #3 (Hold).

Valuation is also important, so investors should note that FB has a Forward P/E ratio of 29.27 right now. For comparison, its industry has an average Forward P/E of 26.51, which means FB is trading at a premium to the group.

Investors should also note that FB has a PEG ratio of 1.36 right now. This popular metric is similar to the widely-known P/E ratio, with the difference being that the PEG ratio also takes into account the company's expected earnings growth rate. The Internet - Services industry currently had an average PEG ratio of 2.61 as of yesterday's close.

The Internet - Services industry is part of the Computer and Technology sector. This group has a Zacks Industry Rank of 170, putting it in the bottom 34% of all 250+ industries.

The Zacks Industry Rank includes is listed in order from best to worst in terms of the average Zacks Rank of the individual companies within each of these sectors. Our research shows that the top 50% rated industries outperform the bottom half by a factor of 2 to 1.

To follow FB in the coming trading sessions, be sure to utilize Zacks.com.


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