Facebook Inc (FB) Q1 Earnings Expected to Beat Street Estimates

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is scheduled to report its financial results for the first quarter after the market close on Wednesday, April 23. Some Wall Street analysts were optimistic with the social network giant and upgraded their rating for the stock due to several catalysts.

Data compiled by Bloomberg showed that analysts expect Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) to deliver $0.24 earnings per share on $2.3 billion revenue for the first quarter.

Topeka Capital Markets reiterates buy rating

Victor Anthony, analyst at Topeka Capital Markets projected that the social network giant will beat the consensus estimate. According to him, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) will post $0.25 earnings per share on $2.39 billion revenue. He previously estimated that the company will generated $0.23 earnings per share on $2.24 billion revenue.

Anthony also reiterated his Buy rating for the shares of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) with $75 price target. The analysts emphasized that the pricing on mobile impressions is becoming firm and he also noted continues improvement in direct response conversion.

In a note to investors, Anthony wrote, “Checks throughout the quarter have been positive with advertisers on both branding and direct response experiencing better sequential performance on their ad spend. Direct response advertisers, in particular, continue to experience strong traffic and improving ROIs. We are told that use of Custom Audience ads have increased significantly since launch and Mobile App installs are performing well.”

More muted share price reaction

Anthony added that investors should not expect a significant increase in the stock price of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) even if it outperforms consensus estimates. According to him, “While we do expect results to top consensus on both revenues and EPS, we see a more muted share price reaction than what we experienced post the 4Q13 print.”

The analysts said two reasons would probably impact the reaction on the stock price of the social network giant. First, he believed that “consensus has a better handle on how FB’s drivers performed”  during the first three months of this year, and he emphasized that the company will unlikely deliver a material outperformance just like in the previous quarter when it beat revenue and earnings expectations by 11% and $0.05 per share, respectively.

Second, Anthony believed that a “broader rotation out of high-multiple tech stocks could continue to offset share price appreciation.”

Furthermore, the analyst said.  “We do remain aggressive buyers of the shares and see the ad product cycle (Instagram, Video ads, mobile ad network, Graph Search too) acting as catalysts that would lead to upward revision to consensus estimates for this year and next.”

Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs stock ratings

Credit Suisse analyst Stephen Ju upgraded his stock rating for Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) from Neutral to Buy and raised his price target from $65 to $87 per share.  On the other hand, Goldman Sachs analyst, Heather Bellini also recommended a Buy rating for the stock with a $78 price target.