Facebook – Is Facebook Stock a Buy Now?
Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) is the undisputed king of social media, but with a $760 billion valuation, it’s also not a cheap stock. However, could there be more upside ahead? In this Fool Live video clip, recorded on Jan. 25, Fool.com contributors Matt Frankel, CFP, Jason Hall, and Brian Withers discuss whether the stock could be worth a look right now.
Jason Hall: Facebook. Once or twice. They have a website. It’s kind of interesting. There’s a bunch of fake news on it. Seriously, Facebook is a social media giant. This is easily one of the most divisive stocks in the Foolish universe, right. For good reason. The bottom line is that there’s no other company you can invest in that plays a bigger role in how people interact with one another online than Facebook, its various social media platforms.
So you’ve got its namesake plus Instagram and the messaging app, WhatsApp, at more than 3 billion users. All right, think about that: 3 billion users. Many of those users they count on these platforms for a massive portion of the information that informs everything about their lives, whether it’s family or sports or politics or whatever.
No matter where you stand on whether that’s good or bad, there’s no doubt that Facebook has access to enormous amounts of data about its users. Advertisers love that data; they absolutely love it. They can use it and they can be more targeted. That’s why Facebook was able to grow revenue 12% last year and boost net income almost 40%.
This is a massive cash cow business. It seems like it’s just getting stronger. What happens next? Yeah, there’s political will. Public pressure to break Facebook up. I think it’s pretty obvious the company’s not going to get regulatory approval to buy another Instagram, right? I think the will seems to be going in the other way.
But I think we have to remember that social media is deeply, deeply embedded in society now. Facebook is easily the most powerful, most profitable company in the social media universe. There is an unbelievably clear, obvious thesis to own this company because of that.
Moreover, I think a forced divestiture of WhatsApp or Instagram, I think that could even work out to investors’ advantages if it were to happen. If they’re forced to spend those assets out on standalone public companies, that’s increased competition in the social media sphere. Increased competition makes better products, makes a better experience. Guess what happens? You have more engaged users. Guess what happens? Advertisers want to spend more money with you, right?
So again, I think the thesis is pretty clear, whether you stand on one side or another in terms of whether you like the business or not is one thing. It’s hard to argue against it as a continued monster investment. Anything to add?
Brian Withers: Cash cow.
Hall: Huge cash cow, yeah.
Matt Frankel: No, I wish I bought Facebook at their IPO. That’s all I have to add.