Author: Don Obrien

Scared of Facebook whistleblower fallout? Take a look at these other tech stocks, analyst says

Facebook’s stock has hung in there amid the latest public controversy on how it operates. 

But if you are a Facebook (FB) investor and are getting concerned Zuck & Co. can’t stay teflon forever in the eyes of market goers, there are other ways to play the generally healthy tech space. 

“You play this by owning IAS [Integral Ad Science Holding]. They effectively do ad verification. So they ensure when an ad is shown it’s shown in the proper way. These ad insurance stories like IAS will benefit in a big way. So that is one stock I would buy here,” Jefferies tech analyst Brent Thill said on Yahoo Finance Live

Thill added, “Is money going to leave internet [names] and head to software? I don’t believe so. I think it would probably rotate more inside internet and go to Amazon or Netflix or some of the other stories that have underperformed.”

To be sure, Facebook is taking on a good bit of heavy fire this week even if its stock price shows otherwise.

Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen appeared before a Senate panel on Tuesday to discuss the internal documents she compiled on the side effects of the tech giant’s products. Lawmakers are expected to use Haugen’s findings to reignite the debate over whether Big Tech should face tougher regulations or perhaps, be broken up. 

Haugen told lawmakers she was “against” breaking up Facebook. The bigger problem, said Haugen, is Facebook’s powerful algorithms that serve up otherwise addicting content to users.

Meanwhile, Facebook is still recovering from outages on services WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook that sent shares down more than 5% in Monday trading. The stock is now lower by 11.3% in the past month compared to a 5.7% drop for the Nasdaq Composite. 

Analysts such as Thill have stayed bullish on Facebook over the last few weeks of uproar, pointing to the company’s unrivaled position on the internet that makes it impossible for advertisers to ignore. 

“Every time there is a legal concern, the stock sells off. The playbook has said every time that happens, you buy the stock. Look at where the stock has gone,” Thill said. 

Facebook’s stock is up 160% these past five years, to Thill’s point.

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and anchor at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.

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