Recently, I wrote about five stocks that I think have plenty of room to grow in the near future. I'll add one of these companies to my portfolio at the end of the month. With that in mind, I have decided to take a deeper look at each of the companies and identify three things about each one that I think make them worth additions to my portfolio. Last week, I discussed Amazon.com, and now I turn my attention to social-media juggernaut Facebook
It's all about the MAUs
With its recent earnings release, Facebook announced that it was closing in on 1 billion monthly active users, or MAUs. But the future of the social network will be determined by how well it's able to monetize its users going forward. With average revenue per user, or ARPU, of $1.28, Facebook is trailing some of its competitors that make a living in the social-network space. If Facebook managed to get its ARPU on par with LinkedIn, for example, it would have recognized another $500 million in revenue during the recent quarter.
How does Facebook plan on raising its revenue per user? Facebook lives and dies through advertising -- 85% of its $3.7 billion in revenue last year came from ads. It uses the demographics of each user to use targeted advertising, hoping for clicks to generate this revenue from the advertisers. The rest of its revenue is generated through its payment system, which is typically just money spent to pay for the various games available on Facebook.
To reduce the reliance on advertising revenue, Facebook could go the route of eBay's
When Facebook initially went public, I thought it would use an inflated share price as currency and purchase related businesses, similar to the pre-IPO acquisition of Instagram. However, with the stock down nearly 50% from its IPO price, it might be a little more difficult to simply throw some shares at some tech company and hope it takes the offer. That said, Facebook still has more than $10 billion in cash on its balance sheet, and there might be a couple of companies out there that would make some sense to increase Facebook's growth potential.
One company often mentioned as a potential buy for Facebook is Zynga
Another company mentioned as a potential acquisition target is Netflix
It isn't even in China yet!
The final reason I think Facebook has room to grow is the lack of a presence in China. Despite not being allowed in the world's most populous country, Facebook has nearly reached 1 billion users. Imagine if 1.3 billion people in China had access to the system as well. The totalitarian regime in China still likes to maintain control over the flow and freedom of information -- Google's struggles with search are a prime example -- but there could be an option for Facebook to work out some sort of agreement with China, perhaps linking a restricted version of Facebook with Renren or SINA
Is this enough?
Are these reasons enough to warrant the addition of Facebook to my portfolio? I've been watching the company since its April IPO, and its current low price makes it an intriguing option for sure. Over the next few weeks, I'll continue keeping an eye on it as I decide which company to add to my portfolio at the end of August. To see whether Facebook wins this portfolio battle, add it to My Watchlist.
To read another view on Facebook, feel free to grab a copy of our brand-new premium report on the stock. You'll be updated monthly on our analysts' insightful opinion of the stock for the next year. Get started now!
Fool contributor Robert Eberhard holds no position in any company mentioned. Follow him on Twitter, or check out his holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of LinkedIn, Netflix, Goole, Amazon.com, and Facebook. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Netflix, Amazon.com, eBay, and SINA. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.