Facebook Shares Surge After Revenue Beat, FTC Charge; Zuck Sees “Privacy-Focused Future”
After some better-than-terrible data from Twitter and Snap, all eyes were on Facebook as it beat broad market expectations on revenue and met on user growth…
1Q revenue $15.08 billion, estimate $14.97 billion (range $14.70 billion to $15.24 billion) (Bloomberg data)
1Q monthly active users 2.38 billion, estimate 2.37 billion (Bloomberg News)
1Q daily active users 1.56 billion, estimate 1.56 billion (BN)
Both daily active users and monthly active users increased 8% year-over-year, but as is clear below, US & Canada has seen no user growth in two years…
Facebook’s first-quarter revenue rose a better-than-projected 26% (better than the 25% expected).
“We had a good quarter and our business and community continue to grow,” said Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and CEO.
“We are focused on building out our privacy-focused vision for the future of social networking, and working collaboratively to address important issues around the internet.”
As Bloomberg notes, Facebook is reaching saturation in its most lucrative advertising markets, the U.S. and Europe, while faster growth is coming from developing countries that aren’t as profitable. The company’s sales gains are increasingly being driven by photo-sharing app Instagram and advertising in its ephemeral Stories feature.
Which was clear from the surge in headcount…
Facebook Headcount – Headcount was 37,773 as of March 31, 2019, an increase of 36% year-over-year
And Expenses soared…
Crushing Operating Margin…
Most notably, Facebook is confirming a $3 to $5 billion charge related to an ongoing privacy investigation by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, which hasn’t yet been resolved
“In the first quarter of 2019, we reasonably estimated a probable loss and recorded an accrual of $3.0 billion in connection with the inquiry of the FTC into our platform and user data practices, which accrual is included in accrued expenses and other current liabilities on our condensed consolidated balance sheet. We estimate that the range of loss in this matter is $3.0 billion to $5.0 billion. The matter remains unresolved, and there can be no assurance as to the timing or the terms of any final outcome.”
Excluding that cost, profit was $1.89 a share, topping the average analyst estimate of $1.62.
The stocks price tumbled out of the gate but quickly surged…
Facebook estimates that “more than 2.1 billion people now use Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, or Messenger every day on average, and around 2.7 billion people use at least one of our Family of services each month.”