Personal Finance

Can Momo Keep Going After Last Week's 27% Pop?

Momo headquarters.

Momo (NASDAQ: MOMO) keeps rolling. One of last week's -- and this year's -- hottest stocks moved higher after posting better-than-expected financial results . Several analysts would go on to jack up their price targets on the stock following the blowout quarter.

Shares of the Chinese social video platform operator soared 27.1% on the news last week. The big gain has now pushed Momo into the ranks of stocks that have more than doubled in 2018. Momo shares have risen 103% year to date.

Momo headquarters.

Image source: Momo.

A moving picture is worth a thousand words

Revenue rose 64% in Momo's first quarter, blowing through the 46% to 52% that it was targeting on the top line back in March. Adjusted earnings rose 57% to $0.69 a share, well ahead of the $0.50 a share that analysts were forecasting. Once again, we find Momo beating Wall Street profit targets by a double-digit percentage margin.

Quarter EPS (estimate) EPS (actual) Surprise
Q1 2017 $0.32 $0.44 38%
Q2 2017 $0.31 $0.35 13%
Q3 2017 $0.38 $0.45 18%
Q4 2017 $0.46 $0.53 15%
Q1 2018 $0.50 $0.69 38%

Data source: Yahoo! Finance.

This is the second time in a row that Momo beat analyst earnings estimates by 38% in the first quarter, but this is also the first in more than a year in which Momo's revenue growth rate accelerates from the previous period. Live video has been Momo's bread and butter these days, and the platform itself continues to grow in popularity with 103.3 million monthly active users in March.

Jerry Liu at UBS upgraded the stock from neutral to buy following the blowout financial performance. His earlier concerns about competition and a slowdown in the showroom market are now outweighed by his more upbeat take on the growth trajectory for live video, the segment accounting for 85% of Momo's revenue. He is boosting his price target from $41 to $60.

At least three other Wall Street pros jacked up their price targets last week. Fawne Jiang at Benchmark is juicing up his price goal from $48 to $60 on the strong report and upbeat guidance for the current quarter. Momo sees revenue growth of 51% to 55% in the second quarter, and it has already established itself as a serial lowballer of its actual top-line upticks. Nomura Instinet analyst Jialong Shi at Nomura Instinet is lifting his price target from $43 to $53, with Standpoint Research going from $48 to $54.

The big twist here is that Momo is surprisingly cheap for a stock that has now more than doubled this year. Momo is fetching less than 22 times this year's projected earnings and just 17 times next year's target.

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Rick Munarriz has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Momo. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy .

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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