In spite of the backlash it faced, 2019 was a year of solid growth for the company.
Facebook has been at the center of many controversies over the past couple of years. The company continues to deal with criticism over how it handles consumer privacy and was even fined $5 billion by the FTC in 2019.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been called to testify in Washington about his company’s policies. And most recently, the company faced backlash over its refusal to ban political ads from its site.
But in spite of the negative press that continues to follow the company, its stock continues to rise. Shares of Facebook are up over 49% from a year earlier and the company saw its market cap rise by more than $200 million in 2019.
And many analysts are predicting the momentum will continue into 2020.
Facebook continues to beat analyst estimates
In spite of all the criticism that’s leveled at Facebook, it’s worth noting that it rarely seems to significantly impact the company’s user growth. The company reported its third-quarter earnings at the end of October, and its revenue beat Wall Street estimates.
In recent quarters, the company has added new users to Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger. According to Facebook, 2.8 billion people use the company’s platforms each month.
And Facebook continues to dominate the advertising landscape with more and more businesses choosing to advertise on the company’s platform. During the third quarter, the company’s advertising revenue grew by 28% to reach $17.38 billion.
Facebook is considered a strong buy on Wall Street, and the company’s most recent bull is Guggenheim analyst Michael Morris. Morris recently reiterated his buy rating on the stock and raised the price target from $230 to $275.
In a note to clients, Morris noted that Facebook’s spending, revenue, and operating profits will continue to increase in the coming years. He said the company should continue to do well thanks to the strong performance of Instagram Stories and the e-commerce growth across its platforms.
Ultimately, we’ll know more one the company releases its fourth-quarter earnings report on Jan. 29.