Facebook Slumps on Rare Sell Rating; Concerns on Google Cookie Move

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By Kim Khan

Investing.com – Facebook (NASDAQ:) stumbled Tuesday after a Wall Street analyst issues a pessimistic note on the stock, citing impact from Google’s restriction of cookies.

Shares of Facebook fell 1.3% in morning trading.

Pivotal Research Group downgraded the stock to sell from hold, with the price target ratcheted down to $180 per share from $215.

Google’s new browser Chrome Version 80 will clamp down on third-party cookies (code must now reflect how specifically cookies are to be handled) as part of its plan to eventually phase them out.

“We think the Street is being way too complacent regarding the impact of the Google (NASDAQ:) Chrome changes,” analyst Michael Levine said in a note. “In effect, this will restrict some of the capabilities of third-party cookies, making it more challenging to utilize inputs from cross-site behavior.”

Of the 51 analysts covering Facebook, there are only two sell ratings, according to Investing.com. The average price target is about $246 a share.

Overall, the S&P communications services sector was down slightly, off 0.1%.

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