Facebook Unveils Graph Search, Relief For Google But Not Yelp (FB, AAPL, GOOG, MSFT, YHOO, YELP)


The highly anticipated event from Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) is finally here. In the "Come see what we're building" event, it sure seems that Mark Zuckerberg's tease was aimed at emulating the strategy of Steve Jobs in the past. If it worked for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), maybe it can work for the world's most dominant social media company.

So, here is what the "Come and see" announcement is: GRAPH SEARCH, which the company currently has under development. Quite simply, this is search for content that has been shared with you, but Mark Zuckerberg claimed that there are literally one trillion connections. This is said to be different from web search and is not public web search. That is good news for the likes of Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) as well as for Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) and Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO). The new Facebook search feature queries your network of contacts.

Shares were at $31.28 in the five minutes before the 1:00 PM EST schedule, but we would remind investors that Facebook shares closed out 2012 at $26.62. The consensus analyst price target from Thomson Reuters is currently $32.22 and that target price has crept higher in recent days.

Facebook shares originally dropped 1% on the news, but now Facebook's stock is up almost 1% at $31.19. We would note that Facebook's share price peaks in the most 3 recent trading days have been $32.21, $31.28, and $31.45. In all probability, Facebook may just trade up and down until investors get a real handle on what the "big deal" will really add for Facebook in revenues. Google shares are now up almost $8 as a relief rally.

UPDATE 1:27 PM EST: As this can be implied as a custom touting and peer review service as well, shares of Yelp, Inc. (NYSE: YELP) are now down over 5% at $20.75 in the initial reaction to the news. Facebook shares are now down 0.3% at $30.85 and Google shares are up over $9.00 at $732.50.

We would note that Deutsche Bank upgraded Facebook shares to Buy from Hold this week and BMO Capital Markets raised its rating to Outperform on the last day of 2012 as well. Other analysts have raised their price targets since the start of 2013.

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