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It's time to take profits after Facebook's share recovery: Trader

Key Points
  • Facebook shares are nearing their all-time high, up more than 20 percent since their 2018 lows in late-March after the Cambridge Analytica data scandal.
  • Halftime Report's Pete Najarian is taking profits after the stock's recent recovery, but believes he'll have another opportunity to get back in.
  • The stock continues to climb despite a recent Pew Research survey finding a 20 percent drop in teens saying they use Facebook compared to the same Pew survey in 2015.

Facebook's public perception may still be damaged from its recent data scandal, but the social media company's stock has already made a sensational recovery.

Shares plummeted 17 percent in late March on the news that Facebook allowed more than 50 million users' data to be compromised and used by the now-defunct political data firm Cambridge Analytica.

Since their recent low on March 27, Facebook shares have surged nearly 27 percent and are now near their all-time high -- possibly due to the company's response to the scandal or the ever-shortening news cycle.

In the time since the data scandal headlines first broke, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg has apologized and taken the blame for his platform allowing data misuse. Zuckerburg testified before both Congress and the European Union, vowing to make amends and better protect users' data.

On CNBC's "Halftime Report" Thursday, trader Pete Najarian implied that Facebook's recent rise in the market shows that the data scandal isn't enough of a factor to keep people from buying the stock. Najarian sold out of his position in Facebook this week as the stock climbed, but not because he saw inherent risk or a downward move coming.

"Discipline, man," Najarian said. "Take the money and run. This thing has absolutely screamed to the upside."

Trader: why I sold Facebook

When asked how he'll know when to get back in, Najarian said the stock will likely present another chance to buy and ride an upward move.

"Oh, I'll get an opportunity," Najarian said. "Somebody will come up with some crazy thing and the stock's gonna get hammered once again. And then I'll look back at the fundamentals and say 'You know what? The opportunity is now, once again.'"

Facebook shares continued to climb Friday, even after the disappointing results for the social media platform in a recent Pew Research study. The study found that 51% of teens say they use Facebook, a 20 percent drop from 2015. The news wasn't all bad, however; Facebook-owned Instagram was the second-most popular platform among teens, with 72% of those surveyed saying they used the service.