If there were any doubts that Facebook is now a mobile company, the social network’s fourth-quarter earnings call Wednesday quashed them all, as mobile ad revenue during the period topped the $1 billion mark for the first time, at $1.25 billion — higher than the company’s total revenue in the fourth quarter of 2012 — and it also accounted for more than one-half of total revenue for the first time, at 53 percent.
The announcement by Instagram Thursday that it would begin incorporating advertising into its feed prompted Sterne Agee Analyst Arvind Bhatia to raise his target price for shares of Instagram parent Facebook to $58 apiece from $50.
Sterne Agee pressed the like button on Facebook in a research note Monday, rating its stock “buy” and setting a target price of $37 per share, and citing the social network’s mobile progress and growth by its Facebook Exchange real-time ad-bidding product, Barron’s reported.
Facebook received some lukewarm news on Wall Street courtesy of analyst Jason Helfstein of Oppenheimer & Co., who reiterated an “outperform” rating on the social network’s stock and lowered his target price to $32 per share from $33.
Zynga said its games held eight of the top 10 spots on Facebook in terms of daily average users as of March 31, and the developer also touted the beta launch of its Zynga.com platform while reporting its financial results for the first quarter of 2012.
The biggest surprise about Facebook’s initial public offering prospectus to some in the accounting and finance communities was that there were no big surprises.