Facebook shares hit record high as it beats estimates again

Thu Jul 28, 2016 4:03pm EDT
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By Tenzin Pema and Anya George Tharakan

(Reuters) - Facebook Inc (FB.O: Quote) is growing so fast that analysts can't keep up.

The social networking giant beat market expectations for profit and revenue yet again in the latest quarter, pushing up its shares to a record high on Thursday and allowing it to overtake Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRKa.N: Quote) as the fifth biggest U.S. company by market capitalization.

Facebook's shares rose as much as 4 percent to $128.33, boosting its market value by $14 billion to $367 billion - enough to eclipse Berkshire's market cap of about $355 billion.

At least 24 brokerages raised target prices on Facebook's stock, with a median target of $150.

Facebook's shares closed at $125, up 1.35 percent.

"Honestly, there's nothing to criticize, so I presume it's just profit-taking," said Michael Pachter, an analyst at Wedbush Securities, who raised his price target on Facebook's stock to $162 from $145.

Of 50 analysts covering the stock, 46 have a "buy" or higher rating and three a "hold", while only one has a "sell."

Analysts said Facebook's "video first" strategy would help drive the company's growth well into the future as more advertisers move money to mobile platforms.   Continued...

A man poses with a magnifier in front of a Facebook logo on display in this illustration taken in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, December 16, 2015.   REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo