Ali Mogharabi: CEO and co-founder of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg testified in front of Congress yesterday and answered questions about the latest data breach issue that involved Cambridge Analytica.
While this recent development may have brought forth further doubts regarding Facebook and its user growth and engagement, along with more demand for a GDPR-type of regulation in the U.S., we're still confident that the firm is more likely to endure the short-term impact of the data breach issue and at this point don't expect a significant long-term negative effect on Facebook's platform and operations. We are sticking with our wide-moat rating and $198 fair value estimate for Facebook.
Zuckerberg clearly admitted to mistakes and took responsibility. He also said that the firm will be increasing resources to investigate apps and take appropriate actions. Facebook will be using AI technology to identify questionable activities and content posted. The firm also plans to assign around 20,000 people to work on security and content.
Zuckerberg also appeared willing to work with lawmakers on possible regulations, which we think may actually create a barrier to entry in the social network space and help Facebook maintain its market leadership.
Overall, the testimony didn't really change our view and valuation on the company. We're still rating Facebook as a wide-moat and valuing it at $198 per share.