Facebook could be bottoming ahead of earnings, former bear says

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Some investors are of the mind that Facebook‘s severe decline has gotten so bad, it might be good.

The social media giant is set to report quarterly earnings on Tuesday after the bell, and Miller Tabak equity strategist Matt Maley said in an interview on CNBC’s “Trading Nation” that he’s gone from negative to more constructive on the stock.

“I turned negative – I wish I’d done it beforehand – after it reported [in July], and the stock fell a lot more. But the thing is, in August, all these weak hands started to sell the stock. Momentum players dumped the stock, mutual fund guys went from overweight positions to equal weight or even underweight, hedge funds dumped the stock, and that’s kind of what we’re seeing in these other high-flying tech stocks right now. They’re now going through that stage, where Facebook’s already been through it,” Maley said on Tuesday.

The strategist said Facebook, which has fallen into a bear market and is on track for its worst month in six years, may see a rally into year-end. But he’s no long-term bull.

“It’s more of a trading vehicle than anything,” he said, adding that he’s keeping an eye on the $150 per share level, the stock’s prior support.

Others are less optimistic on the name. Facebook’s last earnings report, in July, was nothing short of a disaster for shareholders; Facebook shed more than $100 billion in market cap after releasing results. It was the largest single-day loss of market value in U.S. stock market history.

Gina Sanchez, CEO of Chantico Global, said she sees long-term fundamental concerns for the stock. Some investors may think the worst is over, she said, but larger issues loom.

As for the company’s report Tuesday, she said, “All eyeballs are going to be on user growth.”

“I’ll put a big caveat on the value that Facebook has after being beaten down, which is that Tim Cook, for example, from Apple, is calling for stronger privacy laws. That would actually really hurt Facebook’s total business model. So I think the question that investors have to ask themselves is, is the business model still a viable business model? User growth is really at the margin right now,” Sanchez said Tuesday on “Trading Nation.”

Facebook shares dipped in and out of negative territory on Tuesday ahead of its report, rising 1.8 percent in the afternoon.

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