Feeling Aggressive? Maybe It’s Time to Look at Facebook

Despite a major redesign of its popular News Feed, Facebook shares are lagging their social media peers this year. But one former bear expects the stock to gain longer term.

Paul Meeks of Saturna Capital is getting a bit more bullish on the social media giant, but said that even aggressive investors are neutral about this year.

"We manage $4 billion in the smallest of fractions only for the most aggressive folks," said Meeks of Facebook shares. "These are folks that don't even expect much from the stock in 2013."

So far this year, Facebook shares are up nearly 6 percent, a performance that not only trails the S&P 500 but social media companies such as LinkedIn — up 53 percent, and Yelp — up 30 percent.

Currently trading about $10 below where it priced last May, Meeks eventually expects Facebook's stock to go much higher than its $38 IPO price — representing at least a 35 percent potential upside.

And there's reason for longer-term optimism. Meeks said that after previously refusing to talk about monetizing assets or traffic, Facebook executives have become more forthcoming on the topics.

(Read more: Digital Sky Chief: Zuckerberg's 'Genius' Drew My Investment)

Mobile ad revenues should also continue to rise. In the December quarter, Facebook posted $306 million in mobile ad revenue, Meeks said. "In the March 2013 quarter, it will be $350 million, $360 million," he predicted.

A television reporter is seen inside the Nasdaq studios as the Facebook logo is displayed on a ticker board.
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A television reporter is seen inside the Nasdaq studios as the Facebook logo is displayed on a ticker board.

Meeks is also expecting full-year mobile ad revenues to reach $1.6 billion this year, versus the $458 million Facebook booked in 2012.

Saturna Capital also likes Google. Meeks expects the search giant to reach $900 a share, when net cash per share is added.

(Read more: The Street Loves Google, but Can the Stock Hit $1,000?)

Meeks told CNBC, "I think what happens down the road, I'm talking a couple years out, both companies (Facebook and Google) will be among the three, four, five horsemen that dominate the space."

Additional News: In News Feed Revamp, Facebook Creates 'Personalized Newspaper'

Additional Views: About Face for Facebook


Disclosures: No disclosures were available.