Facebook Inc’s (FB) WhatsApp Hits 1 Billion Users

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While Facebook Inc’s (NASDAQ:FB) core business, their Facebook.com social network, continues to expand as well as monetize its traffic, another Facebook property, WhatsApp has just announced their one billionth user. WhatsApp is a cross-platform messaging application which Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) acquired in late 2014 for over $19 billion. The app has been around for approximately seven years and has witnessed torrid growth in that time.

“We are proud of this milestone, and we’re humbled by the extraordinary ways all of you have used WhatsApp,” WhatsApp wrote on their blog. “Whether it’s sharing vital information during natural disasters or health emergencies, finding a date, growing a small business, buying an engagement ring, or seeking a better life – we’re honored to be a small part of what people are doing to make their lives and the lives of those around them better.”

While this is a major accomplishment, the team behind the app continues to work hard on improving functionality, speed and security. It will be very interesting to see how Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) may eventually integrate the app into their core social network, as well as monetize it. Shares of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) are trading down slightly in the pre-market today. The stock increased 2.57% or $2.88 during the last trading session, hitting $115.09. About 46,768 shares traded hands. FB has risen 30.77% since June 26, 2015 and is uptrending. It has outperformed the S&P500 by 39.64%.

From a total of 33 analysts covering Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) stock, 32 rate it a “Buy”, 1 a “Sell”, and 0 a “Hold”. This means that 97% of the ratings are positive. The highest target price is $155.0 while the lowest target price is $88. The mean of all analyst targets is $122.77 which is 6.67% above today’s ($115.09) stock price. Facebook was the topic of 59 analyst reports since July 21, 2015 according to the firm StockzIntelligence Inc. Argus Research maintained shares on November 6 with a “Buy” rating. Morgan Stanley maintained shares with a”Overweight” rating and a $120 target share price in their report from a November 5. Canaccord Genuity maintained FB stock in a recent report from November 5 with a “Buy” rating. Credit Suisse maintained the rating on November 5. Credit Suisse has a “Outperform” rating and a $135 price target on shares. Finally, Jefferies maintained the stock with a “Buy” rating in a report they issued on a November 5.

The institutional sentiment increased to 1.73 in Q2 2015. It’s up 0.01, from 1.72 in 2015Q2. The ratio improved, as 69 funds sold all their Facebook Inc shares they owned while 375 reduced their positions. 126 funds bought stakes while 643 increased their total positions. Institutions now own 1.55 billion shares which is 2.48% more than the previous share count of 1.51 billion in 2015Q2.

Millennium Tvp Management Co. Llc holds 52.76% of its total portfolio in Facebook Inc, equating to 639,552 shares. Parametric Risk Advisors Llc owns 7.97 million shares representing 46.51% of their total US portfolio. Moreover, Sc Us (Ttgp) Ltd. has 41.15% of their total portfolio invested in the company, equating to 1.04 million shares. The California-based Meritech Capital Associates Iii L.L.C. has a total of 37.81% of their portfolio invested in the stock. Duquesne Family Office Llc, a New York-based fund reported 4.09 million shares owned.

Since February 25, 2015, the stock had 0 buys, and 34 sales for a total of $157.58 million in net activity. Athwal Jas sold 30,000 shares worth $3.06M. Stretch Colin sold 1,000 shares worth $98,710. Cox Christopher K sold 5,778 shares worth $561,622. Schroepfer Michael Todd sold 31,283 shares worth $3.00 million. The insider Fischer David B. sold 15,000 shares worth $1.43M.

Facebook, Inc. is a social networking company. The company has a market cap of $319.38 billion. The Firm is engaged in developing products that enables users to connect and share through mobile devices and personal computers. It has 89.22 P/E ratio. It offers various services focused on people, marketers and developers.