Facebook, Inc. (FB) Short Interest Up 14.6% in July

Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) was the recipient of a large increase in short interest in the month of July. As of July 14th, there was short interest totalling 21,837,589 shares, an increase of 14.6% from the June 30th total of 19,056,147 shares. Approximately 0.9% of the company’s shares are sold short. Based on an average trading volume of 15,236,637 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 1.4 days.

Several equities analysts recently weighed in on the stock. Royal Bank Of Canada reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and issued a $185.00 price target on shares of Facebook in a research report on Saturday, June 3rd. Barclays PLC reaffirmed an “overweight” rating and issued a $168.00 price target (up previously from $160.00) on shares of Facebook in a research report on Wednesday, July 12th. Vetr raised shares of Facebook from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $159.91 price target on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, June 6th. Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $192.00 price target (up previously from $175.00) on shares of Facebook in a research report on Thursday, July 27th. Finally, Pacific Crest reaffirmed an “overweight” rating and issued a $155.00 price target on shares of Facebook in a research report on Thursday, May 4th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating, forty-two have given a buy rating and three have issued a strong buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $183.47.

Facebook (NASDAQ FB) opened at 167.41 on Friday. Facebook has a 12 month low of $113.55 and a 12 month high of $175.49. The company has a market cap of $486.19 billion, a P/E ratio of 37.47 and a beta of 0.70. The company’s 50-day moving average is $163.85 and its 200-day moving average is $148.79.

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 26th. The social networking company reported $1.32 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.13 by $0.19. Facebook had a net margin of 38.84% and a return on equity of 21.73%. The firm had revenue of $9.32 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $9.19 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.97 earnings per share. Facebook’s quarterly revenue was up 44.8% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts expect that Facebook will post $5.33 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, VP Colin Stretch sold 750 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $148.54, for a total transaction of $111,405.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 90,656 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $13,466,042.24. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider Christopher K. Cox sold 16,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, May 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $148.03, for a total transaction of $2,368,480.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 221,328 shares in the company, valued at approximately $32,763,183.84. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 12,702,398 shares of company stock valued at $2,054,828,660. Company insiders own 19.08% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Norges Bank bought a new position in Facebook during the fourth quarter worth approximately $2,046,500,000. Janus Henderson Group PLC boosted its position in Facebook by 283.6% in the second quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 11,888,149 shares of the social networking company’s stock worth $1,794,857,000 after buying an additional 8,788,743 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its position in Facebook by 3.3% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 162,530,760 shares of the social networking company’s stock worth $24,538,895,000 after buying an additional 5,151,190 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. boosted its position in Facebook by 3.0% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 138,877,313 shares of the social networking company’s stock worth $20,967,696,000 after buying an additional 4,032,727 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Harbour Capital Advisors LLC boosted its position in Facebook by 15,047.5% in the second quarter. Harbour Capital Advisors LLC now owns 2,540,691 shares of the social networking company’s stock worth $16,828,000 after buying an additional 2,523,918 shares during the last quarter. 57.40% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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About Facebook

Facebook, Inc is focused on building products that enable people to connect and share through mobile devices, personal computers and other surfaces. The Company’s products include Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, WhatsApp and Oculus. Facebook enables people to connect, share, discover and communicate with each other on mobile devices and personal computers.

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