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Wall Street is loving Mark Zuckerberg's performance

Zuckerberg faces 2nd day in Congress
Zuckerberg faces 2nd day in Congress 14:18

Facebook  (FB) CEO Mark Zuckerberg is only partway through his second day of Congressional grilling. But Wall Street already thinks he's won. 

On Tuesday, Facebook stock ended its best day in two years. It jumped 4.5 percent $165.04. On Wednesday, it added another $3.  

"In our opinion, this is the most pivotal 48 hours of Zuckerberg's career and so far he is performing well above expectations, passing with flying colors on Day 1 of the hearings," Daniel Ives, head of technology research at GBH Insights, wrote in a research note. The company has a $225 price target on Facebook stock. 

"Mark Zuckerberg is worth taking seriously as a CEO," wrote Height Capital Markets analyst Stefanie Miller.


Wednesday's testimony further bolstered Wall Street's prediction that the public fallout over Cambridge Analytica would not significantly harm Facebook's business. 

Despite the #DeleteFacebook movement, the number of users on the platform hasn't gone down in a meaningful way, Zuckerberg said. 

"In terms of impact to advertiser revenues, we continue to believe the impact will be minimal," wrote Wells Fargo analyst Ken Sena in a research note. "Though the press coverage has been steeply negative, we believe advertiser behavior will continue to be dictated by whether marketers believe their FB programs are yielding positive [return on investment.]"

The biggest threat to the company's finances would be the current FTC investigation into whether Facebook violated terms it agreed to in 2011. If it finds Facebook at fault, the FTC could impose a fine in the "billions." 

Regulations seems less of a threat. While members of both parties spoke out in favor of regulating tech companies' data-collecting power, investors appear optimistic that Zuckerberg will be able to shape resulting legislation in his favor. Several senators on Tuesday asked for Zuckerberg to propose regulations for the company—a dynamic that seemingly encapsulates the current pro-business climate. 

It's not hard to see why Wall Street is bullish on Facebook. According to a Goldman Sachs analysis, the FAAMG stocks (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Google) are projected to have double the return of the rest of the S&P 500. 

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