Meta Platforms, Inc. (FB) saw growth slow over the past year; however, it still outperformed the S&P500 and rose by approximately 68.4% compared to the S&P’s gain of about 44.7%. However, hedge funds sold the stock in the third quarter, and this technology conglomerate slid on the WhaleWisdom Heatmap to a ranking of 36 from 13.
Meta Platforms, doing business as Meta, operates as a multinational social technology company. Formerly known as Facebook, Inc., Meta is the parent company of Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, and other subsidiaries. These applications are profitable for Meta through advertisements and data collection for marketers. Meta’s corporate rebranding occurred in October 2021. CEO and chairman Mark Zuckerberg reported the rebranding as a move to be a metaverse first and to clear up confusion over the parent company sharing a name with its primary social media application, Facebook. In addition to developing social media applications, Meta develops products for virtual and augmented reality, focusing on connecting people worldwide.
Hedge Funds Reduce Shares
Hedge Funds adjusted their portfolios, and the aggregate 13F shares held decreased to approximately $426.9 million from $432.6 million, a slide of about 1.3%. Overall, 36 hedge funds created new positions, 255 added to an existing holding, 48 exited, and 271 reduced their stakes. Institutions also sold and lowered their holdings by about 1.5% to $1.82 billion from 1.85 billion.
Encouraging Multi-year Estimates
Analysts expect to see earnings rise, with increases in growth from December 2021 to December 2022 that could bring earnings per share to $13.96 by 2021 and $14.41 by 2022. Year-over-year growth is also estimated to bring revenue to approximately $140.0 billion by December 2022, up from an estimated $117.7 billion in December 2021. The long-term 13F metrics between 2006 and 2021 suggest that Meta’s investment potential remains strong.
Analysts Share Favorable Ratings
Nicolas Cote-Colisson of HSBC Bank Plc upgraded Meta to a Hold from Reduce, maintaining a $300 price target, factoring a combination of regulatory risk and new business opportunities. UBS analyst Lloyd Walmsley gave Meta a Buy rating with a price target of $425, up from $416. Walmsley shared that the technology company is well-positioned to benefit from improved operating performance and expansion.
Meta’s earnings estimates for 2021 and 2022 are encouraging for investors. While growth may have recently slowed, the technology company is focused on becoming a leader in the metaverse, which could provide new opportunities for future revenue beyond its popular social media applications. The stock’s trends suggest a long-term opportunity for patient investors.