February 1, 2018 / 9:00 AM / 10 months ago

BUZZ-Street View: Social media fatigue a good thing for Facebook

** Facebook Inc on Wednesday posted slightly slower-than-expected growth in daily active users in Q4

** FB’s changes made to its News Feed reduced the time spent by users by about 50 mln hours every day

** Stock up 6 pct so far in 2018 compared with 7.6 pct increase on the S&P 500 Tech Index

FOCUS NOW ON “HIGH-QUALITY ENGAGEMENT”

** Canaccord (rating: “buy,” PT: $240) says FB Q4 results were strong with an impressive 44 pct revenue growth (excluding foreign exchange effect), and sharp operating margin expansion

** Any slowdown in time spent will be compensated by “higher-quality” time spent, and any trimming of ad load will be compensated for by higher ad pricing - Canaccord

** Cowen (rating: “outperform,” PT: $220) says overall FB’s user engagement to “rise” as it ramps up it video content, with incremental time spent being driven by the Watch tab ** Jefferies (rating: “buy,” PT: $230) says changes to news feed to be “beneficial” as more relevant ads are placed next to higher engaging content

** Instagram to be a catalyst for 2018 as ad loads increase and pricing continues to show robust growth; “Watch” remains key asset as advertisers are hungry for additional digital video ad spots, adds Jefferies

** Wells Fargo (rating: “outperform,” PT: $230) says although there was a sequential decline in U.S/Canada daily average user, evidence of improvement across company’s various product-related ads is seen, giving confidence to drive pricing improvements and estimate upside potential (Reporting by Jasmine I S)

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