Mark Zuckerberg has sold $285 million worth of Facebook Inc. (FB
) stock in the past month, moving toward a pledged goal
to donate 99 percent of his wealth to charity.
Analysts, heavily bullish on Facebook in recent months, did not react directly to the stock sale.
Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, announced in December that they would donate the majority of their assets to charity through the Chan Zuckerberg Foundation and CZI Holdings, two entities that they established for philanthropy and charitable investing.
According to the latest regulatory filing, Zuckerberg, whose estimated net worth is $54.9 billion, plans to sell or donate $1 billion in FB stock each year through at least 2018.
In general, analysts are favoring FB in part for its potential to draw significant increases ad revenue with its established user-base.
Of the five analysts reporting ratings on FB in the past 30 days, 100 percent were positive with a median price target of $160
, representing a 25% upside against recent trading prices. Among them, Morgan Stanley reiterated an “overweight” rating while raising its per-share price target to $160 from $150.
“FB’s growing base of engaged users gives it more ad impression opportunities and data to serve higher quality ads. … We see 26% upside and view FB as our top pick in online advertising,” Morgan Stanley analysts said in a Sept. 7 note
Meanwhile, analysts at Robert W. Baird noted that growth in Facebook’s competition from other social media channels like Snapchat is not likely to significantly impact Facebook’s own revenue.
“We remain positive on [FB] shares as we believe Facebook remains well positioned to aggregate a disproportionate share of advertising budgets for years to come,” Robert W. Baird analysts said in a Sept. 6 note
. The firm has an “outperform” rating on FB with a $155 price target.