Facebook shares closed today at $28, up more than 16 percent this week and hitting a new high not seen since July.
Shares have been on the rise now that major lockup periods have passed and a number of analysts have improved their ratings for the stock. Facebook’s Q3 earnings showed significant growth in mobile monetization and new partnerships for Facebook Gifts — including one with Apple announced this week — are driving increased optimism.
Until this week, Facebook hadn’t traded over $25 since July 26 when the company released its second quarter earnings. That kicked off a steep decline before a period of lockup expirations drove the stock price down even further. Shares hit a low of $17.73 in early September, climbed after CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s public interview with Mike Arrington, and fell back to the $19-$20 range around the time that lockups expired.
The last major lockup ended on Nov. 14. Many analysts had advised investors that Facebook stock would be volatile until after that date. Shares have done well since then, and some analysts are upping their target prices. Bernstein upgraded Facebook from “market perform” to “outperform” with a price target of $33. Piper Jaffray set a 12-month price target of $38, which was the company’s IPO price in May. BTIG Research upgraded shares from a sell rating to a neutral rating, also with a $38 price target.