Mike Isaac

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Holiday Shopping? Buy Shares of Facebook, Says Cantor Fitzgerald.

Mark Cuban ain’t so hot on Facebook these days, but the social giant is still capable of making true believers — analysts at equity research firm Cantor Fitzgerald, in particular.

The firm rated shares of Facebook at a “buy” in its latest research note published Monday, zeroing in on a target price of $28. The reason? Apparently Cantor analysts are convinced Facebook has got mobile monetization on lockdown.

“Facebook seems to be winning the mobile war, with its mobile engagement growth far outpacing that of peers, according to October data,” the company said in the note. “While many fear a rapid transition to mobile usage, where monetization is still nacent, we view increased mobile engagement as a key strength for Facebook and a longer-term differentiator.”

Another key factor in Cantor’s latest note: Facebook’s latest earnings call, which brought a taste of promising news on the mobile ad front. Namely, Facebook’s latest mobile ad product is bringing in more than $3 million daily, or upward of $1 billion annualized at this run-rate.

Other mobile products Cantor cites include Facebook Offers, AdExchange, Facebook Gifts, Promoted Posts and Mobile App-install ads. Most are new to the past quarter, so the jury is still out on their effectiveness.

It’s a bit jarring to all of a sudden see Facebook coverage optimistic on the company’s mobile prospects. It wasn’t that long ago that Wall Street seemed iffy on Facebook’s ability to shift the bulk of its ad revenue from the desktop over to mobile. Perhaps folks are starting to come around to Facebook’s continued insistence that it has mobile nailed. Or perhaps analysts are just filled with holiday cheer.

Alas, the Street is nothing if not mercurial. We’ll see if analysts are still singing the company’s praises come next fiscal quarter.

Oh, and shares of Facebook were trading off Monday afternoon, down around 2.5 percent to an even $23 per share.

FB Chart

FB data by YCharts


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— Gitesh Pandya of BoxOfficeGuru.com comments on the dreadful opening weekend box office numbers for “The Fifth Estate.”