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Heavyweights of U.S. tech—including Yahoo, Facebook and Google—start reporting earnings next week, and with the giants battling for more marketing dollars, investors will be paying close attention to who is gaining an edge in the digital advertising space.
While Google leads the sector in size and revenue, the real star is Facebook, said analyst Brian Wieser, of Pivotal Research, in a note on Thursday. (Tweet This)
"Facebook is still our favorite among companies dependent on digital advertising," Wieser said. "Facebook can point to many factors for sustaining growth" as increased spending from small businesses and large brands as well as the company's focus on performance-based marketers will continue to help the company sustain growth, he said in his note.
"We think there is more positive news to come as Facebook looks to secure rights to monetize more premium content, deepen its presence in ad tech and commercialize Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp alike," he added.
Wieser has a $107 price target and a "buy" rating for the stock.
While FX headwinds will hurt the company some in the quarter, he said in his note that he still expects 45 percent growth in revenue when it reports on Wednesday.
As for Google, which reports Thursday, investors can expect to see margins continue to shrink as the company's revenue shifts from high-margin search to lower-margin display and nonadvertising businesses, Wieser said. But he said that the "risk/reward trade-off is favorable at current levels," and raised his price target to $640 from $610 for the stock and maintains a "buy" rating.
Yahoo, which reports earnings Tuesday, could also disclose strong guidance given its search alliance with Microsoft, according to a note put out Thursday by JMP Securities.
Amazon and Microsoft report Thursday.