Where Will Facebook Stock Go Now?

With shares of Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) trading around $34, is FB an OUTPERFORM, WAIT AND SEE, or STAY AWAY? Let’s analyze the stock with the relevant sections of our CHEAT SHEET investing framework:

T = Trends for a Stock’s Movement

Facebook is engaged in building social products in order to create utility for users, developers, and advertisers. People use Facebook to stay connected with their friends and family, to discover what is going on in the world around them, and to share and express what matters to them to the people they care about. Developers can use the Facebook platform to build applications and websites that integrate with Facebook to reach its global network of users, and to build personalized and social products. Advertisers can engage with more than 900 million monthly active users on Facebook, or subsets of its users, based on information they have chosen to share.

Social networking has been a powerful movement and tool in recent years, and has had a major influence in the way many companies and consumers operate daily. The company’s mobile app has reached 100 million users, and the simple app is most heavily used in emerging markets, where data speeds are usually slower. Facebook reported earnings on Wednesday afternoon that proved analysts wrong, with strong profits from mobile ads. Facebook’s ad revenue from mobile was close to nothing a year ago, but in the second quarter, mobile ads made up 41 percent of the site’s total ad revenue of $1.6 billion. Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg predicted, “Soon we’ll have more revenue on mobile than desktop.”

T = Technicals on the Stock Chart are Strong

Facebook stock has struggled to find a consensus valuation over the last several years. The stock broke out in a big way today, and is now trading at highs for the year. Analyzing the price trend and its strength can be done using key simple moving averages.

What are the key moving averages? They are the 50-day (pink), 100-day (blue), and 200-day (yellow) simple moving averages. As seen in the daily price chart below, Facebook is trading well above its rising key averages, which signal neutral to bullish price action in the near-term.

FB

(Source: Thinkorswim)

Taking a look at the implied volatility (red) and implied volatility skew levels of Facebook options may help determine if investors are bullish, neutral, or bearish.

Implied Volatility (IV)

30-Day IV Percentile

90-Day IV Percentile

Facebook Options

33.76%

3%

0%

What does this mean? This means that investors or traders are buying a very minimal amount of call and put options contracts, compared to the last 30 and 90 trading days.

Put IV Skew

Call IV Skew

August Options

Flat

Average

September Options

Flat

Average

As of today, there is an average demand from call buyers or sellers, and low demand by put buyers or high demand by put sellers, all neutral to bullish over the next two months. To summarize, investors are buying a very minimal amount of call and put option contracts, and are leaning neutral to bullish over the next two months.

On the next page, let’s take a look at the earnings and revenue growth rates, and what that means for Facebook’s stock.

E = Earnings Are Increasing Quarter-Over-Quarter

Rising stock prices are often strongly correlated with rising earnings and revenue growth rates. The last four quarterly earnings announcement reactions can also help gauge investor sentiment on Facebook’s stock. What do the last four quarterly earnings and revenue growth (Y-O-Y) figures for Facebook look like, and more importantly, how did the markets like these numbers?

2013 Q2

2013 Q1

2012 Q4

2012 Q3

Earnings Growth (Y-O-Y)

58.33%

0.00%

-89.46%

-120.00%

Revenue Growth (Y-O-Y)

53.13%

37.81%

40.14%

32.29%

Earnings Reaction

28.74%*

5.61%

-0.83%

19.12%

Facebook has seen improving earnings and rising revenue figures over the last four quarters. From these numbers, the markets have been excited about Facebook’s recent earnings announcements.

* As of this writing

P = Excellent Relative Performance Versus Peers and Sector

How has Facebook stock done relative to its peers, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), LinkedIn (NASDAQ:LNKD), and the overall sector?

Facebook

Google

Microsoft

LinkedIn

Sector

Year-to-Date Return

26.52%

26.10%

17.56%

77.77%

20.31%

Facebook has been a relative performance leader, year-to-date.

Conclusion

Facebook is a leader in the social networking arena, and strives to provide an unforgettable experience for its users, developers, and advertisers. A recent positive earnings has investors euphoric, and the stock is now trading at highs for the year. Over the last four quarters, investors in the company have been excited, as earnings have been improving and revenue figures have been rising. Relative to its peers and sector, Facebook has been a year-to-date performance leader. Look for Facebook to OUTPERFORM.

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