Instagram executive departures may mean Facebook can squeeze more money out of its apps: Bank of America

  • Bank of America Merrill Lynch reiterates its buy rating for Facebook shares, citing the money-making potential of its major apps.
  • The management "change could accelerate IG [Instagram] value realization," analyst Justin Post says.
Social media apps of Instagram and Snapchat.
Chris Ratcliffe | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Social media apps of Instagram and Snapchat.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch sees a silver lining for Facebook after the announced departure of two key executives.

The firm reaffirmed its buy rating for Facebook shares, citing the money-making potential of its major apps.

On Monday it was revealed that the co-founders of Instagram, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, had resigned from Facebook.

The management "change could accelerate IG [Instagram] value realization," analyst Justin Post said in a note to clients Wednesday. "We think management's elevated interest in integrating content or flexing Instagram's business potential may have created a culture clash … We think acceleration of Instagram monetization is possible and, combined with the roll out ads in stories, could lead investors to reconsider the potential value in Messenger and WhatsApp."

Facebook shares rose 1.2 percent Wednesday.

The analyst noted Instagram has more than 1 billion monthly active users and 25 million businesses on its platform.

"We believe Instagram does not charge for shopping tools as of yet, and see eCommerce as a big opportunity if shopping link conversions prove effective," he said.

Post maintained his $205 price target for Facebook shares in the report.