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Why Facebook Is a Better Buy Than Apple

By Jeremy Bowman and Brian Withers – Oct 9, 2021 at 9:00AM

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See why Facebook is the winner in this big tech battle.

Apple (AAPL -0.80%) is a popular choice among big tech stocks, but Facebook (META -0.86%) has a number of advantages over its fellow FAANG stock. It's cheaper, it's growing faster, and its advertising revenue stream looks more secure.

In this segment of "The Five," recorded on Sept. 3, Fool contributors Jeremy Bowman and Brian Withers debate the two stocks.

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Brian Withers: We're going to go backwards, we'll go with Jeremy first. Is there a stock in the tech space that you like better than Apple today over the next five or 10 years?

Jeremy Bowman: Sure, I'll cast my vote. We're talking about big tech, I'm going to go with Facebook.

Toby Bordelon: That's hilarious.

Withers: We were just talking about the domination of Facebook earlier. I love it. You bring it full-circle. [laughs]

Bowman: Facebook gets a lot of hate from investors on Fintwit and other places, you know it is the stock. People follow stocks on Twitter and other platforms. I get it maybe from a consumer's perspective or user perspective, people might have some qualms with the company.

But I think from a business perspective, first of all, comparing to Apple. I haven't looked recently. To me, Apple -- the stock's done incredibly well in the last few years, but always seems a bit more expensive than it should be. Whereas Facebook, and I look at and, "why is the stock so cheap?" is what I'm thinking. Brian, we talked about Chinese stocks last week. I think a lot of them are trading at a discount prices, but that's for obvious reasons like the regulatory environment there. Facebook, I don't really know. The company is growing revenue, something like 25-30 percent a year. Their margins are huge. They have a great advertising business. I like what they're doing with virtual reality, Oculus. Mark Zuckerberg went off about the metaverse in the last earnings call. [laughs] We'll see what happens with that. But the company is spending a lot of money in that area. I think that gives them some optionality. They're also making a pretty big move.

It's funny we are talking about them and Apple too, because they've been battling it out after Apple issued this new IDFA, which is Identity For Advertisers -- I think a new app-advertising protocol. Basically you go on your iPhone and they ask you if you don't want to be tracked. So that was supposed to be a problem for Facebook. It doesn't seem like it's been, like what you said about the ad blocking software, as big of a problem as people thought. But that's one reason why Facebook is trying to go more directly in e-commerce so they can just keep all that money. Instead of asking small business to advertise with them and then you click off and just buy something on their site or whatever. Now you can just buy directly from them, but Facebook. Like what we were saying Apple's got monopolistic power in the App Store, and I think Facebook has that with their whole social media network. The stock just always seems cheaper to me than it should be. They seem to beat our expectations pretty regularly, almost every time.

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. Jeremy Bowman owns shares of Facebook. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Apple and Facebook. The Motley Fool recommends the following options: long March 2023 $120 calls on Apple and short March 2023 $130 calls on Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Stocks Mentioned

Meta Platforms Stock Quote
Meta Platforms
$122.43 (-0.86%) $-1.06
Apple Stock Quote
$146.63 (-0.80%) $-1.18

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