Facebook Underwriters Unsure About Q2 Performance

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Estimates of Facebook's second quarter financial performance are starting to pour in, and not surprisingly, the social network's lead underwriters are predicting some of the lowest numbers.

The general estimation for Facebook revenue comes in at around $1.16 billion and $0.12 per share. Morgan Stanley is saying it will be more like $1.11 billion with $0.10 per share. Goldman Sachs says $1.125 billion and $0.11 per share.

Also noteworthy, half of Facebook's underwriters initiated coverage with a hold rating, while Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan, and Goldman Sachs have it at a Buy recommendation.

Currently, Facebook shares are trading around $32.67 which is pretty good considering their price fell as low as $25 just a few weeks ago. It's unlikely that shares will return to their $38 per share target price they were selling for on the first day of the IPO, but things are looking somewhat promising.

Scott Devitt of Morgan Stanley starts coverage as Overweight with a target price of $38, but sees it falling as low as $22 or rising as high as $52. Heather Bellini of Goldman Sachs is giving Facebook a Buy rating at a $42 target price.

On the flip-side, Justin Post of Merrill Lynch gives Facebook a Neutral rating with a $38 target price. Spencer Wang of Credit Suisse also gave them a Neutral rating, but put the target price at $34.

Obviously, we will just have to wait and see what happens. Overall Facebook is doing a lot better than some could have predicted. Of course, they are left with a lot of lawsuits and investigations to contend with as a result of their totally dysfunctional IPO launch, but that doesn't mean they aren't going to perform over the longterm. We'll keep you posted.

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