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Why Meta Platforms Stock Got Punished Today

What happened

Meta Platforms (NASDAQ:FB) might be the king of social media thanks to its all-powerful core assets Facebook and Instagram, but the company’s stock wasn’t treated like royalty on Wednesday. Investors traded it down by nearly 2% on the day, following cuts to pre-earnings price targets by a clutch of analysts.

So what

More than one prognosticator has become notably cooler on Meta Platforms’ stock of late. On Wednesday, Guggenheim’s Michael Morris took a pair of scissors to his target on the social media giant, trimming it to $365 from the previous $395. Since the new level still implies a more than 20% gain from the current price, though, he’s maintaining his buy recommendation on the shares.

Aggravated woman with hands on head, seated in front of a computer monitor.

Image source: Getty Images.

Cutter No. 2 on the day was RBC Capital analyst Brad Erickson, who made a less aggressive reduction from $415 per share to $400. Like Morris, though, he’s leaving his outperform (i.e., buy) recommendation in place.

Erickson justified his move with the assertion that Meta Platforms “may be more exposed to TikTok risk than investors may realize,” referring to the wildly popular short-video service that competes somewhat with similar offerings on Facebook and Instagram. 

Now what

We’re now exactly one week away from Meta Platforms’ next quarterly earnings release. According to data compiled by Yahoo! Finance, on average 39 analysts tracking the stock are expecting a per-share net profit of $3.84 for the company’s fourth quarter, down slightly from the $3.88 of the previous year. But that’s on revenue that is anticipated to rise precipitously by nearly 20% to just under $33.4 billion.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

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