Facebook Stock Near Record High, Despite Data-Privacy Scandal Woes

Even though it’s been pummeled many times for its role in exposing private data on millions of people, Facebook stock remains a favorite with investors.


Shares of the social media giant hovered near 202.87 on the stock market today, up 2.3%. It sits just below its current all-time high of 203.55 set on June 20.

Facebook (FB) came under scrutiny in early February after it was revealed that political consultant Cambridge Analytica had wrongfully accessed personal data from 87 million Facebook users. Hackers allegedly used the data in the 2016 presidential election. It also led to Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg facing 10 hours of congressional testimony over two days.

As reports of the data-privacy breach grew, Facebook stock dropped 23% in one month, starting in early February. Facebook stock has since rebounded about 36% thanks in part to Mark Zuckerberg’s long apology tour.

Despite its troubles, Facebook continues its consistent pace of double-digit growth in revenue and earnings. In reports, analysts often point to the success of Instagram, Facebook’s photo and video-sharing app with more than 1 billion users.

Instagram Monster

BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield on Thursday raised his price target on Facebook stock to 275 from 175, with a buy rating.

“Instagram has become an absolute monster in terms of user growth and engagement,” he wrote in a research note to clients.

Facebook has steadily monetized Instagram with ads. The company does not break out Instagram revenue but analysts see it as a core revenue driver.


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