Facebook shares close lower on Tuesday, company to boost its London workforce by 1 000 this year

Facebook Inc (FB) plans to bolster its workforce in London by hiring 1 000 people in 2020 in roles such as product development and safety.

Facebook shares closed lower for the third time in the past ten trading sessions on NASDAQ on Tuesday. The stock went down 0.32% ($0.70) to $221.44, after touching an intraday low at $219.14, or a price level not seen since January 14th ($218.63).

Shares of Facebook Inc have risen 7.89% so far in 2020 compared with a 2.79% gain for the benchmark index, S&P 500 (SPX).

In 2019, Facebook Inc’s stock went up 56.57%, thus, it again outperformed the S&P 500, which registered a 28.88% gain.

In an interview with Reuters, Nicola Mendelsohn, Facebook’s vice president for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said that more than 50% of the new roles would be in technological areas, including software engineering and data science.

Other roles are expected to be within Facebook’s “community integrity” team, engaged in development of products for detection and removal of harmful content from platforms such as WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram.

Along with other tech companies, Facebook also sought certainty about Britain’s departure from the EU. “The Johnson government has been very clear about what that looks like, and so we will continue to invest here in London,” Mendelsohn said, cited by Reuters.

Facebook has been trying to regain trust in its platforms following the Cambridge Analytica scandal in 2018, while such a process, according to Mendelsohn, could take time.

“We also understand that this is an ongoing important conversation – we want to be part of that conversation,” Mendelsohn said. “We want to be working with policymakers in this area to get to thoughtful policy.”

Analyst stock price forecast and recommendation

According to CNN Money, the 47 analysts, offering 12-month forecasts regarding Facebook Inc’s stock price, have a median target of $245.98, with a high estimate of $342.00 and a low estimate of $120.00. The median estimate represents an 11.08% upside compared to the closing price of $221.44 on January 21st.

The same media also reported that at least 41 out of 52 surveyed investment analysts had rated Facebook Inc’s stock as “Buy”, while 4 – as “Hold”. On the other hand, 2 analysts had recommended selling the stock.

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