Facebook Q4 Numbers Not Good Enough for Investors

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Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) reported its most recent quarterly results after markets closed Wednesday. The social media giant said that it had $2.21 in earnings per share (EPS) and $12.97 billion in revenue, compared with consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters that called for $1.95 in EPS and $12.55 billion in revenue. The fourth quarter of last year reportedly had EPS of $1.41 and $8.81 billion in revenue.

As a result of the new tax law, the fourth quarter and full year 2017 provision for income taxes increased by $2.27 billion, which impacted the effective tax rate, net income and diluted EPS for those periods. Diluted EPS decreased by $0.77 for both the fourth quarter and full year 2017.

Daily active users averaged 1.40 billion as of December 2017, an increase of 14% year over year. At the same time, monthly active users totaled 2.13 billion at the end of 2017, an increase of 14% year over year.

Mobile advertising revenue represented roughly 89% of advertising revenue for the fourth quarter of 2017, up from 84% of advertising revenue in the same period last year.

The company did not issue guidance for the coming quarter. However, the consensus estimates call for $1.25 in EPS and $11.11 billion in revenue.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and CEO, commented:

2017 was a strong year for Facebook, but it was also a hard one. In 2018, we’re focused on making sure Facebook isn’t just fun to use, but also good for people’s well-being and for society. We’re doing this by encouraging meaningful connections between people rather than passive consumption of content. Already last quarter, we made changes to show fewer viral videos to make sure people’s time is well spent. In total, we made changes that reduced time spent on Facebook by roughly 50 million hours every day. By focusing on meaningful connections, our community and business will be stronger over the long term.

Shares of Facebook closed Wednesday at $186.89, with a consensus analyst price target of $212.64 and a 52-week range of $130.30 to $190.66. Following the announcement, the stock was initially down about 4% at $179.67 in the after-hours trading session.

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