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Stifel analysts raise price target on Facebook

The Associated Press

Stifel analysts on Friday increased their target price on Facebook Inc.'s shares, citing impressive momentum since it reported its second-quarter results.

THE OPINION: Jordan Rohan and Michael Purcell raised their target price to $50 from $38.01. The analysts said that the company reached its prior target price sooner than expected.

Facebook shares have soared since late July, when the social media company reported that it moved to a profit for its second quarter on improved revenue from mobile ads. The company's stock price has jumped nearly 58 percent following the report and hit new trading highs repeatedly along the way.

It's a welcome relief to investors, who had seen the stock struggle since its rocky public debut last May, when it priced at $38. It didn't pass that threshold again until July 31.

"As long as the company continues to outpace consensus estimates for revenue growth, with high incremental margins, shares should continue to climb," the analysts wrote in a research note.

Rohan and Purcell said they believe that scenario is playing out in its third quarter, with good response from marketers on a global basis.

They said the company has unmatched global reach and opportunity and raised their 2014 revenue expectations by 2 percent to $9.82 billion, ahead of market forecasts. Analysts polled by FactSet, on average, are anticipating, $9.59 billion.

THE STOCK: Facebook shares slipped a penny to $41.27 in late afternoon trading Friday, amid a broader market dip. Its stock hit $42.26 earlier in the day — another trading high for the company. Its stock price has more than doubled since this time last year.