Facebook to rally 18% this year on higher ad pricing, Pacific Crest says

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
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Investors should buy Facebook shares because the social media company's revenue will top expectations this year, according to Pacific Crest Securities, which initiated coverage of the firm with an overweight rating.

"We believe its opportunities to continue increasing ad pricing on the core platform and to expand monetization through video and messaging more than offset the risks of slowing ad load growth," analyst Andy Hargreaves wrote in a note to clients Thursday. "As in many internet businesses, we believe Facebook's leading scale provides significant advantages that should help it remain on top."

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