Talking Numbers

A unique take on what's driving social stocks

A unique take on what's driving social stocks

This has been a wild week for social media stocks.

On one side, you have giants Facebook and Twitter scaring the daylights out of investors. Facebook said costs and expenses may rise by as much as 70 percent next year. Twitter reported user engagement fell, and its forecasted revenue disappointed the Street.

But on the other side is LinkedIn, which soundly beat estimates and saw price targets raised by the likes of Stiefel, Canaccord Genuity and JP Morgan.

So which way is the sector headed next?

That may all depend on the size of the social media company itself, according to Gina Sanchez, founder of Chantico Global.

"The big names are basically 'going big or going home,'" said Sanchez, a CNBC contributor. "We see them ramping up, expanding globally, looking out for talent acquisition – that's certainly the story with Facebook."

But smaller companies are going to have a slightly different choice to make in the coming months. "They're either going to make it or they are getting absorbed," Sanchez said.

However, for bigger social media companies, acquiring smaller rivals might have its own challenges. Facebook spent $19 billion to buy WhatsApp, a company that lost $138 million last year. "Rising costs to acquire more users may dampen the enthusiasm for what is the fastest growing sector," Sanchez said.

Meanwhile the technicals for the industry is bearish, said Todd Gordon, founder of

Charting the ETF tracking the social media sector (trading under the ticker symbol SOCL), Gordon and the chief investment officer of his company, Jackie Fogg, have come up with a price target of close to $14 per share. That's about 28 percent lower than where it traded Friday.

Gordon and Fogg reached that level by projecting the $7 decline from the March 2014 peak on to the September 2014 peak of $20.77.

"Look at how much it is underperforming the Nasdaq, which is the strongest index right now," said Gordon, a CNBC contributor. "Social media is not performing. And also don't forget what's in this – Google. Google is like the third-biggest U.S. component [in the SOCL]. Google is lagging. So I see difficulties ahead for this space."

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