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UPDATE: Facebook (FB) Gets Its First of Many Buy Ratings: Wedbush Starts at Outperform, $44 Price Target

May 4, 2012 1:43 PM EDT Send to a Friend
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Price: $74.82 +1.30%

Rating Summary:
    40 Buy, 8 Hold, 0 Sell

Rating Trend: = Flat

Today's Overall Ratings:
    Up: 3 | Down: 4 | New: 7
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(Updated - May 4, 2012 1:51 PM EDT)

Wedbush initiated coverage on Facebook (NYSE: FB) shares with an Outperform rating and a $44 price target.

The firm said, "we believe Facebook will capture an increasing percentage of spending on offline advertising, while growing share of online advertising as well, as usage continues to increase and advertisers become more comfortable with the cost-effectiveness of online advertising."

Wedbush also pointed to opportunities in mobile. "The growth rate of mobile Facebook users is expected to exeed that of overall monthly active users due to the emergence of smartphones and development of mobile products aimed at increasing Facebook usage."

And in the payments category: "We estimate that in the typical transaction, Facebook retains up to 30% of the face value of purchases, the rate disclosed for Zynga. We expect Facebook to make increased use of Facebook credits a priority in 2012."

Wedbush's price target is based on 22x the firm's FY15 EPS estimate of $2.00.

For an analyst ratings summary and ratings history on Facebook click here. For more ratings news on Facebook click here.

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