Top analyst Mahaney picks Facebook over Twitter

Despite gaining more than 5 percent during Thursday's session and nearly 40 percent in the past month, Twitter wasn't a top stock pick for RBC Capital Markets analyst Mark Mahaney.

Shares of Twitter took a leg higher on Thursday after the stock was initiated with an "overweight" rating at Barclays and was mentioned positively by an analyst at Evercore.

On Thursday's episode of CNBC's "Fast Money," Mahaney said that although Twitter remains a "buy," there still exists a good deal of negative investor sentiment on the stock.

"I've had a lot of conversations with investors this quarter … sentiment was far and away the most negative on Twitter," he said.

Mahaney highlighted two important catalysts to Twitter's future growth that investors should be watching: its monthly active users, and user-engagement figures. These metrics, he said, should start to accelerate at some point before the end of the year.

Despite the fact that Mahaney's $60 price target represents a 40 percent premium to the stock's $41.44 closing price, he said the micro-blogging site is not his top pick in the sector right now.

That distinction goes to social media competitor Facebook.

"If you're going to buy one of these stocks, I'd prefer Facebook to Twitter," he said.

Guy Adami of stockMONSTER.com agreed with Mahaney's call.

"I'm still in the camp that Facebook's going to $75 ahead of earnings. I think analysts are going to have to catch up," he said.

By CNBC's Michael Newberg

Disclosures: RBC Capital Markets is currently providing Facebook, Inc. with non-securities services; RBC Capital Markets has provided Facebook, Inc. with investment banking services in the past 12 months; A member company of RBC Capital Markets or one of its affiliates managed or co-managed a public offering of securities for Facebook, Inc. in the past 12 months; A member company of RBC Capital Markets or one of its affiliates received compensation for investment banking services from Facebook, Inc. in the past 12 months; RBC Capital Markets has provided Facebook, Inc. with non-securities services in the past 12 months; No disclosures found for Twitter, Inc.

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