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Facebook Stock Dip Temporary: Analyst

Thursday, 31 May 2012 | 1:48 PM ET
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Juan Mabromata | AFP | Getty Images
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Facebook'sstock price may have taken a dive today, but the social networking giant's stock should stabilize after about two or three quarters, and then it will move up, according to Victor Anthony, an analyst for Topeka Capital Markets, who appeared on CNBC's Squawk on the Street.

"I think once Facebook has about two or three quarters worth of earnings under its belt, investors will get a lot more comfortable with the story that management is pitching and you'll see the stock price moving up," he said.

Facebook's stock, which debuted on May 18 at $38, fell to below $26 Thursday. S&P Capital IQ also cut its target for the social network to $27 from $30. Anthony, however, said he thinks the dip is temporary.

"There's a whole laundry list of items that are pressuring the stock today," said Anthony. "Some of those items are legitimate, some I think are just noise. I think when the noise dissipates, you'll start to see the stock get its foot in. You'll see the shorts come out of the name and fundamental value will come in and stabilize the stock price."

Some reasons the stock may be tanking today include rumors of a Facebook smartphone, rumors of acquisitions, questions about revenue growth and questions about the company's growth, Anthony said.

Growth in Advertising

Despite these concerns, Anthony said he is confident in Facebook's value rising. Key, he said, would be through the social network's advertising platform.

"The advertising business, we think is solid. ... Fundamentally, I think the platform is strong," Anthony said.

Richard Greenfield, co-head of Research at BTIG, said he also sees "tremendous opportunity for Facebook to grow its advertising well above that $4 billion," but said it's still not clear when that growth in monetization will take place.

"There's lots of different buckets of advertising where Facebook is going to influence over time. The question though, as an investor looking out over the next 12 months, is what do you do with the stock?" Greenfield said on CNBC's Squawk on the Street.

Another major concern over Facebook's advertising is, of course, generating revenue from mobile advertising.

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CNBC's Kayla Tausche reports travel website, Kayak Software has yet to launch its IPO roadshow, on the heels of Facebook's rough public offering. Richard Greenfield, BTIG co-head of research and Victor Anthony, Topeka Capital Markets, discuss Facebook's 27% decline since its public debut.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said earlier in May that the company's top priority in 2012 would be improving its mobile application to create a "transformative" advertising experience, but questions remain about when these efforts will begin to generate revenue.

"Ten percent of overall Internet usage is now mobile, up from 1 percent just three years ago," Greenfield said. "In a mobile world, what is advertising going to look like? We can't answer that question today. I think when we look at it right now, there are some big open questions about monetization."

It's not clear yet whether revenue growth or earnings growth is going to pick up over the course of the next year, Greenfield said, because Facebook is investing for the long-term.

"I don't think they are playing to win over the next three months. They are playing to win long-term and they are investing for the long-term," said Greenfield. "Two or three years out it may be exploding and growing rapidly. I don't know if we have that visibility today, that's why we urge investors from the time of the IPO to be very cautious with this stock until we actually understand the growth rates a bit better."



email: tech@cnbc.com

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