The Vanguard Group, Inc. recently announced the acquisition of new stake in Meta Platforms Inc. (NASDAQ:META). The institutional investor has increased its shareholding in the Communication Services company by 0.41% to 172.3 million shares with purchase of 0.7 million shares. This fresh investment now brings its stake to 7.75% valued currently at $50.98 billion. In addition, Fidelity Management & Research Co raised its holdings by 3.82 million to 117.42 million shares. And BlackRock Fund Advisors has lifted its position by 2.88% or 2.88 million shares – to 102.9 million shares.
With over 28.06 million Meta Platforms Inc. (META) shares trading Friday and a closing price of $300.31 on the day, the dollar volume was approximately $8.43 billion. The shares have shown a positive half year performance of 46.54% and its price on 09/15/23 lost nearly -3.66%. Currently, there are 2.57B common shares owned by the public and among those 2.22B shares have been available to trade.
An analysis of what Wall Street brokers have to say about the expected price targets for this stock gives us this picture: 59 analysts who have offered their price forecasts for META have a consensus price objective of $370.31. The analysts have set the share’s price value over the next 12 months at a high of $435.00 and a low of $100.00. The average price target is 17.48% above its recent price level and a downside to the estimated low will see the stock lose -200.31% over that period. But an upside of 30.96% will see the stock hit the forecast high price target while median target price for the stock is $380.00.
Insiders at the company have transacted a total of 300 times over the past 12 months, according to data filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 174 of these insider trades were purchases, accounting for 1,342,290 shares. Insider sales of the common stock occurred on 126 occasions, with total insider shares sold totaling 889,645 shares.
The top 3 mutual fund holders in Meta Platforms Inc. are Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF, Vanguard 500 Index Fund, and Fidelity Contrafund. Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF owns 68.92 million shares of the company’s stock, all valued at over $20.39 billion. The company bought an additional 14378.0 shares recently to bring their total holdings to about 3.10% of the shares outstanding. Vanguard 500 Index Fund bought 0.3 million shares to see its total holdings expand to 53.28 million shares valued at over $15.76 billion and representing 2.40% of the shares outstanding. Fidelity Contrafund now owns shares totaling to 1.86% of the shares outstanding.
Shares of Meta Platforms Inc. (NASDAQ: META) opened at $311.61, down -$0.11 from a prior closing price of $311.72. However, the script later moved the day high at 312.00, down -3.66%. The company’s stock has a 5-day price change of 0.81% and 6.56% over the past three months. META shares are trading 149.55% year to date (YTD), with the 12-month market performance up to 98.26% higher. It has a 12-month low price of $88.09 and touched a high of $326.20 over the same period. META has an average intraday trading volume of 23.67 million shares. The stock is trading above its simple moving averages at the SMA20, SMA50, and SMA200, as the current price level is off by 1.63%, -0.54%, and 35.43% respectively.
Institutional ownership of Meta Platforms Inc. (NASDAQ: META) shares accounts for 75.20% of the company’s 2.57B shares outstanding. Mutual fund holders own 31.04%, while other institutional holders and individual stakeholders account for 45.30% and 1.98% respectively.
It has a market capitalization of $802.11B and a beta (3y monthly) value of 1.23. The stock’s trailing 12-month PE ratio is 33.94, while the earnings-per-share (ttm) stands at $8.85. The company has a PEG of 1.10 and a Quick Ratio of 2.30 with the debt-to-equity ratio at 0.15. Price movements for the stock have been influenced by the stock’s volatility, which stands at 2.87% over the week and 3.05% over the month.
Analysts forecast that Meta Platforms Inc. (META) will achieve an EPS of $3.6 for the current quarter, $4.81 for the next quarter and $16.65 for 2024. The lowest estimate earnings-per-share for the quarter is $2.76 while analysts give the company a high EPS estimate of $4.27. Comparatively, EPS for the current quarter was $1.64 a year ago. Earnings per share for the fiscal year are expected to decrease by -33.60%, and 24.57% over the next financial year. EPS should grow at an annualized rate of 30.83% over the next five years, compared to 8.20% over the past 5-year period.
If you are looking to buy this stock, then you may note that the average analyst recommendation by 59 brokerage firm advisors rate Meta Platforms Inc. (META) as a “Strong Buy” at a consensus score of 1.80. Specifically, 46 Wall Street analysts polled rate the stock as a buy, while 6 of the 59 advise that investors “hold,” and 1 rated it as a “Sell.”
Looking at the support for the META, a number of firms have released research notes about the stock. Wedbush stated their Outperform rating for the stock in a research note on August 22, 2023, with the firm’s price target at $350.