December 26, 2018 / 3:54 PM / 25 days ago

Facebook shares could hit $160 in 2019 - Citron

FILE PHOTO: Silhouettes of mobile users are seen next to a screen projection of Facebook logo in this picture illustration taken March 28, 2018. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

(Reuters) - Short-seller Citron Research on Wednesday backed Facebook Inc (FB.O), saying the stock could hit $160 (126.13 pounds) in 2019 as the company’s revenue and user base have seen little impact from the reported data scandals and privacy issues this year.

Shares of the social network rose as much as 4.4 percent to $129.57 after Citron’s report. They are down 28 percent this year.

“We believe investors will be rewarded by the shift of user behaviour to Instagram shopping and the personalisation of the commerce process,” according to Citron’s research note.

Citron said Facebook has come a long way, turning the short-seller from a “one-time sceptic to a major bull”.

“As investors have become overly concerned about the short-term noise of privacy and propaganda, they have forgotten to look at the earnings power and potential of the most advanced advertising tool with global reach in messaging, networking, and the future of shopping,” the short-seller said.

Reporting by Sonam Rai in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva

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