January 8, 2019 / 4:28 PM / in a year

BUZZ-J.P.Morgan says Facebook to outperform in 2019

** J.P. Morgan reiterates Facebook Inc among its favorite internet picks; says the social media co will outperform in 2019

** FB shares up 1.7 pct at $140.39

** Co touches three-week high, rising for the 3rd day after having shed more than a qtr of its value in 2018

** Privacy and data concerns, platform transitions, slowing growth, margin compression, regulation and extremely negative PR have weighed in recent months and sentiment remains negative in early 2019 as well - JPM

** FB’s user metrics remain healthy with recent core FB trends above expectations and a growing monthly active user (MAUs) base across its platforms - JPM

** JPM believes Facebook’s rev deceleration is manageable as demand for core FB remains strong

** Says while high operating expenses are already expected for 2019, GAAP EPS should accelerate into the mid-teens in 2020

** Brokerage also sees multiple emerging rev opportunities in FB and Instagram stories, Messenger, WhatsApp, Facebook Watch/IGTV and says the stock’s current valuation is compelling

** Apart from FB, JPM reiterates favorite internet picks Twitter Inc and Amazon.com Inc; TWTR down 0.8 pct, while AMZN trades flat (Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru)

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