Facebook Home: What Wall Street Is Saying

Tickers in this article: FB

SAN FRANCISCO (TheStreet) -- "It's finally time to talk about that Facebook phone," CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Thursday in jest as he opened up the presentation on Facebook Home. Wall Street was mostly positive on the announcement, as the company gets set to roll out the product on April 12.

Here's what a few Wall Street analysts had to say regarding Facebook Home:

JMP Securities Randall Josey, Market Perform, No PT:

"Home infuses Facebook content across a user's phone. A typical user checks Facebook's mobile apps ~10-12x per day and as FB content is surfaced on a smartphone's lock-screen via Cover Feed, we believe this interaction could significantly grow. For context, FB believes users check their smartphone ~100x per day. With 680 mobile MAUs as of 4Q12, Facebook's mobile audience is sizable and users typically spend ~3x as much time within FB's apps than any other app available. We note this amounts to FB and Instagram accounting for ~25% of time spent on mobile phones."

Wells Fargo Jason Maynard, Outperform, Price Range $36-$39:

"We see Home as a new chapter in Facebook's evolution into a mobile first company. CEO Mark Zuckerberg had previously downplayed the possibility that Facebook would manufacture its own phone, and now we understand some of his thinking. With Home, we see an approach that is neither device nor operating system. We like the logic of a software-driven strategy rather than a device approach. In many ways (device independent software, monthly feature push, free cloud download) Home resembles PaaS personalization tool more than mobile app. In our view this approach is likely to appeal to many of Facebook's one billion+ members, while avoiding device/platform lock-in."


Credit Suisse Stephen Ju, Neutral, Price Target: $31:

"While more specific opinions on Home will have to wait until the 12 April release date, our initial impression is that this new product release serves two purposes. In the near/medium term, we believe Home can help Facebook to boost mobile engagement given the rich user interface and at the same time help it to fend off competition from emerging mobile messenger services such as Kakao talk and LINE."


Shares of Facebook were lower in early Friday trading, off 1.01% to $26.80.

--Written by Chris Ciaccia in San Francisco

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