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1 Top Stock to Buy Ahead of the Holidays

By Daniel Sparks – Sep 21, 2021 at 8:46AM

Key Points

  • Facebook shares trade conservatively relative to the social network's long-term business potential.
  • The tech company's holiday quarter typically accounts for nearly a third of its annual revenue.
  • Facebook's profits are enormous -- and they are probably about to increase.

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Have money to spare this holiday season? Consider investing some of that cash into this fast-growing tech stock.

It's no secret that consumer spending in many categories rises leading up to the holidays (and even during the holidays). This ultimately gives thoughtful investors more opportunities to collect anecdotal experiences with publicly traded companies -- experiences that may ultimately influence investment decisions.

One company many consumers will interact with this holiday season is Facebook (META -0.74%). People all over the world use the platform during the holidays to share updates on their families, connect with new acquaintances, discover things to buy, and more. But even better than interacting with Facebook as consumers as the tail end of the year approaches may be interacting with it as an investor.

Here's why Facebook seems like an attractive long-term investment going into the holiday season.

A woman with shopping bags

Image source: Getty Images.

A fourth-quarter boost

Digital advertising companies like Facebook typically experience their most significant revenue during Q4. Of course, this doesn't automatically translate to a rising stock during the period. Nevertheless, it's worth taking a look at just how significant Facebook's top- and bottom-line momentum may be this holiday season.

Going back to 2019, when seasonal trends were more normalized compared to the pandemic-stricken 2020, Facebook's fourth-quarter revenue accounted for 30% of total revenue during the year. This outsize allocation of the year's revenue to Q4 reflects how advertisers typically ramp up spending during the period to capitalize on consumers' increased spending levels.

How could Facebook's fourth quarter of 2021 fare? By assuming the same 19% sequential increase in revenue Facebook saw in its fourth quarter of 2019 can apply to to the social network's fourth-quarter 2021, Facebook's fourth-quarter revenue could come in at a whopping $35 billion. This assumes a 19% sequential increase from the $29.5 billion in third-quarter 2021 revenue the current consensus analyst estimate is calling for. Fourth-quarter 2021 revenue of $35 billion revenue would notably translate to about 24% year-over-year growth for the period, capturing the social network's strong momentum.

A huge bottom line

The company's profits should trend nicely as well. With about 35% of Facebook's revenue falling down to its bottom line recently, the tech company will likely generate tens of billions of dollars of net income during the second half of the year.

Even better, Facebook's bottom line is expected to grow significantly more over the long haul. On average, analysts expect Facebook's earnings per share to increase at an annualized rate of 29% over the next five years.

Facebook's price-to-earnings ratio of 26 looks very attractive in relation to the social networking behemoth's top and bottom-line momentum, making shares look like a great long-term investment at today's prices.

Randi Zuckerberg, a former director of market development and spokeswoman for Facebook and sister to its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Daniel Sparks has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. His clients may own shares of the companies mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Facebook. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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