Facebook shares close higher on Tuesday, company readies $100 million in cash grants and ad credits for small businesses

Facebook Inc (FB) announced on Tuesday plans to provide $100 million in cash grants and ad credits for 30 000 small businesses in more than 30 countries as a measure against the economic impact from the coronavirus pandemic.

Facebook shares closed higher for the fourth time in the past ten trading sessions on NASDAQ on Tuesday. The stock went up 2.34% ($3.41) to $149.42, after touching an intraday low at $140.00, or a price level not seen since January 8th 2019 ($139.54).

Shares of Facebook Inc have retreated 27.20% so far in 2020 compared with a 21.72% loss for the benchmark index, S&P 500 (SPX).

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

The social media company said small businesses could use cash to pay rent, to cover operational costs or to run advertising on its platform.

“We’ve listened to small businesses to understand how we can best help them. We’ve heard loud and clear that financial support could enable them to keep the lights on and pay people who can’t come to work,” Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg was quoted as saying by Reuters.

Analyst stock price forecast and recommendation

According to CNN Money, the 45 analysts, offering 12-month forecasts regarding Facebook Inc’s stock price, have a median target of $250.00, with a high estimate of $300.00 and a low estimate of $178.00. The median estimate represents a 67.31% upside compared to the closing price of $149.42 on March 17th.

The same media also reported that at least 39 out of 50 surveyed investment analysts had rated Facebook Inc’s stock as “Buy”, while 5 – as “Hold”. On the other hand, 2 analysts had recommended selling the stock.

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