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How to buy and sell Facebook stock (FB)

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Invest in this social media giant armed with news, trends and market history.

As Facebook continues to be a force in the marketplace, you may be wondering how to get a piece of the action. From quick trades to a long-term investment portfolio, here are some tips for investing in Facebook stock.

Recent stock performance for FB

Before investing in a company like Facebook, review its past stock prices, recent news headlines and something called the moving average convergence/divergence — or MACD. MACD is a trading indicator that uncovers the strength, momentum and duration of a trend. Remember, past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Facebook’s technical performance

Technical analysis is the mathematical study of a stock’s price based on its recent trends. You have many more ways than the MACD to analyze market trends. Here’s what several key technical indicators are saying about Facebook’s current stock trend, according to charting service TradingView.

Facebook’s financial performance

Review how Facebook has performed as a company over the past three years.

Facebook (December 31st figures)RevenueOperating incomeNet incomeTotal assetsTotal equityNumber of employees
2015$17.928 billion$6.225 billion$3.688 billion$49.407 billion$44.218 billion12,691
2016$27.638 billion$12.427 billion$10.217 billion$64.961 billion$59.194 billion17,048
2017$40.653 billion$20.203 billion$15.934 billion$84.524 billion$74.347 billion25,105

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How to stay up to date with Facebook stock

When buying or selling stock in a company, pay attention to its current affairs by monitoring elements like:

  • Financial reporting. Know when a company typically releases its financial reports. These reports can let you know how the company is performing, which affects the stock price. Facebook reports annually on the December 31st. It also provides quarterly updates.
  • Company news. Keep an eye on the news. New releases, new countries or markets and hiring and firing staff can all affect a company’s stock.
  • Wider news. Be aware of external events and news that can affect Facebook’s share price.
  • Does the company pay dividends? If a company pays dividends, they pay some of their profits back to shareholders. Currently, Facebook does not pay dividends on their shares.
  • Shareholder meetings. Often held annually, these meetings invite large shareholders to attend and vote on matters relating to the company.

Things to consider before investing

Before investing in any company, know the answers to key questions like:

  • What does the company do? This might sound silly with a company like Facebook. But if you can’t explain what the company does in a few sentences, do some research before investing.
  • Is it making profits? If you’re not sure if a company is profitable, it could be a red flag. You can read Facebook’s quarterly or annual earnings reports and look at the figures for yourself.
  • Who are the main competitors? Know if the company is a market leader, a newcomer or a fast-growing disrupter. If the company you’re considering operates globally, keep an eye on foreign competition as well.
  • Who runs the company? It’s easy to track down who runs a company, and any decent company lists its senior managers, too. Knowing the leaders can tell you something about the company’s stability and management style.
  • Is the company’s position sustainable? If you’re looking for a long-term investment, evaluate the likelihood of the company sticking around. If you’re looking for a short-term gain, this is less important.
  • Is there room for future growth? Look at the company’s outlook for medium- to long-term growth to determine whether it’s reached its maximum size or has room to grow.

Bottom line

Facebook is a popular investment choice for good reason. However, no company is exempt from market trends. Before you trade any stock, do some research and decide if the risk is one you’re willing to take.

The value of any investment can go up or down depending on news, trends and market conditions. We are not investment advisers, so do your own due diligence to understand the risks before you invest.

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