ibusinesslines.com November 13, 2018

Facebook Inc | $FB Stock | Shares Sink After Missing Q3 Revenue Expectations

03 November 2018, 05:44 | Kelvin Horton

Getty Images

Getty Images

Overall third-quarter revenue was $13.73 billion, up 33 percent from the same period previous year and below the $13.78 billion average analyst estimate in Refinitiv data. Analysts had expected earnings of $US1.46 per share on revenue of $US13.77 billion. For example, in Europe Facebook has lost a million daily and monthly active users in the past three months alone.

"Our community and business continue to grow quickly, and now more than 2 billion people use at least one of our services every day", said chief executive Mark Zuckerberg, referencing Facebook-owned Instagram, Facebook Watch, its video service, to engage users, as well as working on efforts like an e-commerce marketplace, a jobs service and a dating service, he said.

The earnings come as the company navigates a harsh year in which it has had to fend off threats of regulation and deal with a massive privacy breach and public discontent over its ability to curb misinformation before another US election.

Facebook's stock climbed $4.07, or 2.8 percent, to $150.29 in after-hours trading.

"The 1 million quarter-on-quarter decline in Europe users was likely a continuation of the fallout of GDPR we saw last quarter. And we will never be ideal", he said.

Facebook is keeping costs in check better than some investors anticipated but is facing challenges growing users, causing shares to swing in both directions after the third-quarter results.

Yet Facebook does not charge as much for advertisers to run ads on "Stories" as it does in the News Feed, so shifting to ephemeral messaging may not be as lucrative, the company said.

Users see these as really private spaces and if an advert for baby clothes suddenly intrudes into a conversation about an impending birth that will further damage trust in Facebook.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg called 2019 "another year of significant investment" during the earnings call.

Total expenses in the third quarter surged to almost $8 billion, up 53 percent compared with a year ago.

Facebook announced plans Tuesday to adapt to users sharing more privately as the leading social network pours money into an ongoing battle with "bad actors" out to misuse its service.

Variety reports that Facebook has seen user growth slow in the last quarter in both the USA and Europe, the number of U.S. users has remained flat while the company has actually begun to lose users in Europe.

That said, I do think that we were quite behind where we needed to be a couple of years ago. Ads in Stories are driving growth on Facebook and Instagram, with spend increasing at a faster rate than traditional feed ads compared to the beginning of 2018.

It doesn't take much to send Facebook (FB) shares higher these days, as today's response to earnings demonstrates. It still has its user base as its greatest asset and COO Sheryl Sandberg can still weave some convincing stories of how companies can benefit commercially from the Facebook platform. Which for investors that have been holding Facebook all year, that's going to be a good thing.

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