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Facebook Says Fast Spread of Coronavirus Hits Advertising Sales, Apps Usage Surges

support@smarteranalyst.com (Ben Mahaney)

Facebook Inc (FB) said the coronavirus outbreak is slowing down its advertising sales, even as usage of its social media platforms is growing fast following a lockdown in many countries around the world.

“We’ve seen a weakening in our ads business in countries taking aggressive actions to reduce the spread of COVID-19,” the company said in a statement. “The usage growth from COVID-19 is unprecedented across the industry, and we are experiencing new records in usage almost every day.”

Wall Street analysts have a bullish call on Facebook shares. Thirty-five out of thirty-eight analysts have a Buy recommendation on the stock, making the consensus rating a Strong Buy. The average price target of $246.53 implies a potential gain of 58% in the coming 12 months.  (See Facebook's stock analysis on TipRanks)

Facebook said that in countries hit hardest by the coronavirus, total messaging has grown more than 50% over the last month. In Italy, Facebook has seen a 70% increase in time spent across its apps, and views on Instagram and Facebook Live have doubled in a week.

Group calling with three or more participants increased by over 1,000% in Italy in the last month, the company said.

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