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Pro Analysis

Facebook shares, up big in 2017, should keep going because slowing ad growth fears are overblown, UBS says

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook

Investors should buy Facebook shares, said UBS, citing expectations of growth in advertising revenue and in newer developments such as Messenger, WhatsApp and Oculus.

UBS analyst Eric Sheridan said recent fears over the sustainability of growth in ad revenue should be put to bed.

"In our view, these fears place an undue emphasis on the role of advertising impression growth for core Facebook and ignore the key drivers of new ad products, better measurement/attribution tools & sustained levels of engagement across the Facebook ecosystem," Sheridan wrote in a note on Friday.

Sheridan raised his price target on the social media giant to $165 from $155, representing an almost 18 percent upside from Thursday's close of $139.99. Facebook shares are up about 19 percent year to date.

Facebook continued to grow its number of monthly active users, up to almost 1.9 billion in the fourth quarter of 2016.