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Brian Deagon

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With Facebook stock down a whopping 40% from its record high, the social media giant got a price-target cut Friday by a Wall Street analyst.

Needham analyst Laura Martin cut her price target on Facebook (FB) to 170, from 215.

Her near-term concerns about Facebook include a slowdown in earnings and revenue growth, the impact of data privacy issues and “rising risks associated with growing global scrutiny, which may drive additional litigation costs and/or regulatory oversight.”

Facebook stock plunged 6.3% to close at 124.95 on the stock market today. The stock has been hammered since hitting a record high of 218.62 on July 25. Data privacy scandals play a big part in that.

Plunge Over Access, Lawsuit

Facebook stock plunged 7% Wednesday on a report that some of the world’s largest tech firms received privileged access to user information. Facebook was also was hit by news that the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit against the company over privacy concerns.

The social media stock fell to a 21-month low last month, following an article in the New York Times that raised questions about how the social media behemoth handles the spread of disinformation and other problems.

But Martin maintained a buy rating on Facebook stock, due to its dominant position in social media.

Facebook reported mixed results for the third quarter. Revenue of $23.7 billion was slightly below analyst forecasts, though earnings of $1.76 per share topped views. Reasons for the revenue deceleration include a shift toward Facebook properties with lower monetization rates. Facebook also said that core users are nearing saturation in some developed markets.

Publication: Investor’s Business Journal| Facebook Stock, Under Heavy Pressure, Gets Price-Target Cut

Shares of Tencent Holdings (TCEHY), NetEase (NTES) and other China stocks jumped Friday after a government official signaled that a freeze on approvals for new games is ending. But some gave back those gains before markets closed.

“We are accelerating the process of issuing licenses for game titles,” China government spokesman Feng Shixin said, according to media reports. Shixin appeared at a gaming industry symposium on Friday.

“We’ve finished reviewing the first batch of games,” he added. Approvals for online games progressed for the first time since March.

Big Stock Moves
Shares of Tencent, the largest gaming company in China, jumped 3.4% to 39.54 on the stock market today. Another large gaming company, NetEase, soared 3.7% to 244.43.

Among other China stocks in the internet sector, Weibo (WB), which was up 3% in morning trading, closed up 0.1% to 55.45. Huya (HUYA), which had been up 4.3%, ended the day down 3.6%, to 15.58. Momo (MOMO) closed at 23.38, up 0.2%. It was up 2% earlier in the day.

Government officials stopped issuing licenses for online games in China early this year, in the world’s largest gaming market. Media reports attributed the holdup to an overhaul of the government agencies that regulate the industry.

The new structure gives them more scrutiny over the billion-dollar market. It came as Chinese authorities warned about violent content and the addictive nature of some games.

Publication: Investor’s Business Daily| Some China Stocks Surge As Gaming License Freeze Starts to Thaw

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