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Facebook Is a ‘Money-Making Opportunity’: Analyst

Wednesday, 27 Jun 2012 | 5:13 PM ET
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A month after Facebook’s botched initial public offering, Wall Street analysts released more than a dozen highly anticipated reports detailing what they think of the company’s potential. For one analyst, the answer is a “money-making opportunity.”

In an interview with CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street,”Jason Helfstein, a senior Internet analyst at Oppenheimer, shares his rationale for placing a $41 price target and an “overweight” rating on the stock .

“We think the stock will be an attractive opportunity for those long-term oriented investors,” said Helfstein, who added that his estimates have not changed since Oppenheimer participated in the company’s market debut.

In the report, he predicted that Facebook’s worldwide penetration would rise to 59 percent by 2018, up from 35 percent now.

“So, are we saying, ‘Buy the stock and make money tomorrow?’ No, but we think you buy the stock, you hold it for the next year or so, and we think this will be a money-making opportunity,” he said.

Facebook Face-Off
Gene Munster, Piper Jaffray analyst, says that Facebook will be able to monetize mobile users in 1-3 years, but Brian Wieser, Pivotal Research Group analyst has a "hold" on the stock. Meanwhile Lennar says it sees improvements in pricing and volumes in most markets.

While Helfstein has not been informed by the company of any new financial information, Facebook has released new product announcements about its mobile and advertising offerings.

“We do have some additional industry information — there was some data out from comScore that suggested that time spent on mobile devices using Facebook was up 10 percent month to month in April,” he said. “If you annualize that, that’d give 90 percent growth year over year.”

Although mobile remains a growth bright-spot for the company, Helfstein said how Facebook plans to monetize it remains a big question. (To read more about other analysts’ forecasts for the company, click here.

—By CNBC.com’s Katie Little

Additional News: Facebook Needs a Mobile Strategy: Ex-Employee

Additional Views: Facebook Will Regain IPO Price...In a Year: Underwriters

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Disclosures:

Oppenheimer makes a market in the securities of Facebook.

Disclaimer

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Follow Katie Little on Twitter @katie_little.

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