You might think so based on today’s rally, which sent Facebook shares up about 19% as of mid-afternoon to about $23.20. Remember that yesterday the stock closed at $19.50, down 48.7% from the $38 IPO price in May. But that was before the company released its Q3 earnings report and led a conference call that seemed to address one of investors’ most nagging questions: Can Facebook make real money from ads to consumers who access the social network from their smartphones? Pivotal Research Group’s Brian Wieser was encouraged, raising his target price by $2 to $30 after hearing execs explain why “more mobility will lead to more consumption of Facebook.” Barclays Equity Research’s Anthony DiClemente also raised his target price, by $3 to $26. “Given mobile traction and potential revenue from new products,” he says, “3Q may mark a near-term inflection point in sentiment, as [Facebook] should benefit from the [year-over-year] effect of mobile for several quarters to come.” And Bernstein Research’s Carlos Kirjner says he expects to see “consensus revisions upwards” after results showed that “both consensus and we had underestimated the near-term mobile monetization potential significantly.” So is Facebook finally out of the doghouse? We’ll have to wait a little longer to know for sure. The stock rally “may be limited” as lock-up agreements — which kept a lot of Facebook’s inside investors on the sidelines — expire, Credit Suisse’s Stephen Ju says. That “could place another ~$16 billion of market cap on the market over the next two months” and drive the stock price down if these people have been itching to sell.
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