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Facebook's stock drop 'a gift to investors'

Facebook's warning of slowing growth in 2017 could be a "gift to investors" looking to jump into what is still a lucrative boat, internet analyst Victor Anthony said Thursday.

Facebook's earnings and revenue beat the Street's expectations Wednesday, but Chief Financial Officer David Wehner announced that ad revenue growth rates would taper in 2017.

Anthony, a senior internet media analyst with Axiom Capital Management, was not worried by the announcement, saying the Street had already factored in the growth deceleration forecast.

Instead, he told CNBC's "Squawk Box," Facebook is playing a different game.

"They always guide aggressively with expenses, and beat that expense guidance," Anthony said. He said he's expecting that to happen again.

Shares of Facebook were trading at $121.42 in premarket trading Thursday, down 4.5 percent.

Anthony said the results of major expenses and investments, not only from Facebook but from other tech giants like Amazon and Google, have typically yielded fruit.

Anthony said now may be the time to get on board with Facebook in light of Wehner's announcement that Facebook is gearing up for extensive hiring extensively and expanding its data centers.

"I think the pullback is really a gift for investors who've been on the sidelines," Anthony said.


Nomura analyst Anthony DiClemente told "Squawk Box" he's not so bullish on Facebook.

"The company's going through, basically, the way I see it, a product transition," he said. "They're going from static images in your Facebook feed to video, and that requires a tremendous pivot in terms of the infrastructure of the organization, the sales of the organization."

The senior internet analyst said investors' worries may have stemmed from a subtle, but significant change in the company's language from the second quarter to the third.

"What the company has said [in the third quarter] is that ad load will be a 'meaningfully' lower contributor of ad revenue. Last quarter, I think that that word was more like 'accordingly,'" he said.

That vocabulary change sparked more worries about 2017's slowdown, DiClemente said.

"Is it tougher to get excited about Facebook when they're going through a product transition and they're not seeing upward earnings revisions because of some of these comments that I mentioned? Yeah," DiClemente said.

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However, he noted that Facebook's earnings were still strong this quarter, and said the company is a "huge secular winner," including in the battle over advertising against traditional media.

He said the worry lies in whether Facebook will be able to successfully accelerate its business and whether it will continue to beat estimates.

DiClemente said he would rather own Google parent Alphabet, Amazon and Netflix before Facebook in his ranking of the FANG stocks.