Cowen Analyst John Blackledge Cautious On Facebook

By David Cohen 

Wall Street continues to weigh in on Facebook, but Cowen & Co. Analyst John Blackledge was not as optimistic about the social network as his counterpart at J.P. Morgan, Doug Anmuth, assigning the company a neutral rating.

According to Forbes, Blackledge feels that other analysts may be overestimating Facebook’s long-term growth prospects, and he predicted that the social network will reach 1.7 monthly average users by 2018, pegging average revenue growth during that period at 17 percent, with ad revenues rising by an average of 20 percent per year during that period.

Blackledge also projected $10.6 billion in 2016 revenue for Facebook, compared with the consensus of $13.3 billion, Forbes reported, and he wrote:

We think consensus estimates imply about 1.8 times faster ad growth across desktop and mobile than we forecast, which implies that Facebook would grow its worldwide share [of] total digital advertising from 4.5 percent in 2012 to 12.3 percent in 2018. Our analysis suggests consensus mobile and desktop ad growth rates are almost two times our estimates.