Facebook, Inc. (FB) saw continued growth over the past year, outperforming the S&P 500 and rising by approximately 66.3% compared to the S&P’s gain of about 32.5% since the beginning of 2020. However, hedge funds were actively selling the stock in the first quarter. Still, the company climbed to a ranking of sixteen on the WhaleWisdom Heatmap.
Facebook is a multinational conglomerate and provider of communication services that offer an online application and technologies to connect friends, families, and businesses. Facebook also provides products and services beyond its social networking platform and has acquired other companies such as Instagram, WhatsApp, and Giphy over the past several years.
Hedge Funds Are Selling
Despite solid growth, Facebook saw declines in share ownership, with hedge funds and 13F filers dumping the stock in the first quarter of 2021. Overall, hedge funds decreased their aggregate holdings by about 1.5%, to approximately 439.2 million shares from 446 million. Likewise, the aggregate 13F shares held fell to about 1.85 billion from 1.89 billion. Of the hedge funds, 60 created new positions, 283 added to an existing holding, 40 exited, and 264 reduced their stakes.
Additionally, long-term 13F metrics demonstrate an overall upward trend in stock prices over the past fifteen years, indicated investors have not only bought shares in Facebook but have held for the long-term.
Encouraging Multi-year Figures
Analysts expect to see earnings rise over the next three years, with growth rates spanning 15.5% to 29.6%. These year-over-year estimated increases could bring earnings per share up to $17.69 in 2023, from $13.07 for 2021. In addition, it is estimated that year-over-year revenue growth will range from 16.9% to 34.2% between 2021 and 2023; this could bring revenue to $160.8 billion by 2023.
Analysts Share Favorable Price Targets
Facebook recently held its annual F8 developer conference, which brought together developers across the globe to celebrate innovation and share the latest on Facebook technologies. Following the annual meeting, analyst Brent Thill of Jefferies Equity commented that Facebook is building a comprehensive toolset beyond core advertising to bring greater value. Thill maintains a Buy rating on the stock and a $385 price target. Ivan Feinseth of Tigress Financial Partners LLC also gave Facebook a Buy rating and initiated a twelve-month target price of $430. Feinseth noted that Facebook continues to benefit from the massive growth in digital advertising.
Facebook’s potential continues to grow. Hedge funds may be selling, but analysts are optimistic about the stock, and investors appear to be long-term oriented. Moreover, estimates through 2023 are encouraging for investors, making the company an attractive investment for investors willing to hold shares long-term.