Facebook may be mired in Congressional scrutiny over privacy, controversial policy allowing false information in political ads and defense of its Libra cryptocurrency initiative. But if all those woes are damaging the company, one wouldn’t know it from the social media giant’s third-quarter earnings.
The report, released Wednesday, beat expectations and buoyed Wall Street, which sent shares up more than 5 percent in after-hours trading.
The tech company posted earnings per share of $2.12 and revenue of $17.65 billion, easily topping estimates of $1.91 and $17.35 billion and sailing over the $1.76 and $13.73 billion pulled in, respectively, during the same quarter last year.
It’s worth noting that Facebook, once highly criticized over its early failure to drive development on mobile, now reports that mobile rakes in roughly 94 percent of its total revenue on advertising for the quarter. Ad revenue overall jumped as much as 28 percent.
“We had a good quarter and our community and business continue to grow,” Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive officer, said in a prepared statement. “We are focused on making progress on major social issues and building new experiences that improve people’s lives around the world.”
A key metric for tech companies is user growth, and there were no signs of shrinkage, despite the many controversies. In fact, it grew, with 1.62 billion for daily and 2.45 billion for monthly active users, meeting expectations.
On the earnings call, the ceo told analysts that roughly 2.8 billion people monthly use Facebook’s family of apps, which includes WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger.
Not that it was all good news. The company blew a lot of money between July and September. Costs swelled by nearly a third, dinging the company $10.5 billion. Over the same period last year, those costs clocked in at $7.94 billion.
In large part, experts figure that Facebook has one notable lifeline that has been helping buoy the business through the storm: Instagram. The photo- and video-sharing network has not only turned into a virtual social shopping mall and creative ad platform, but one that also manages to sidestep most of the problems that plague its parent company.