Facebook Stock Opens Lower Despite Upbeat Analysts

By Jennifer BootonMarketWatch Pulse

Shares of Facebook Inc. opened down more than 2% on Thursday despite a wave of stock-target increases at several brokerages following the company's stronger-than-expected quarterly earnings report. Among the banks raising their price targets were Deutsche Bank, to $115 from $100; Goldman Sachs, to $110 from $102; Raymond James; to $115 from $110; Citigroup, to $112 from $97; Stifel Nicolaus, to $108 from $95; and Barclays, to $105 from $98. The most bullish increase came from Piper Jaffray, which raised its target to $146 from $120. Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, who now as the highest price target on the stock among a poll of roughly 40 Facebook analysts surveyed by FactSet, said that he continues to be bullish on Facebook's core properties, like Newsfeed and Instagram, and believes virtual reality will be a stock catalyst through the second-half of 2015 as Facebook gets ready to launch Oculus Rift in the first quarter of 2016. The average 12-month target on the stock is $107.32, according to FactSet. Despite the increases, shares of Facebook opened at $94.91 versus Thursday's closing price of $96.99. "We would be buyers on any pullback," Munster said.

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