Full Steam Ahead for Facebook Bulls

Facebook app storeShares of Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) added 2.9 percent to last week’s gains on Monday morning after an analyst at Raymond James gave the company a pre-earnings thumbs up. The firm increased its rating from “Market Perform” to “Outperform” with a price target of $38 per share, the same as the company’s IPO price.

The primary discussion about Facebook heading into its earnings report, due out on Wednesday after the markets close, is about monetization. The company’s struggling efforts on this front have been well documented, but more and more observers are filing the “struggling” descriptor away and brushing off descriptors like “improving.” Everyday, Facebook looks less like an adolescent company suffering from growing pains, and more like a robust titan in the tech industry.

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Trade volume has slowly increased with the stock price, following a slump in activity in the late summer and fall. The novelty that was sweat out of the stock price after its IPO is being replaced by stronger fundamentals and clear revenue streams. Long-term bulls are reiterating “Buy” positions left and right, and the company’s stock is effectively right at the mean analyst target of $33.50…