How Will Advertising Play Into Facebook's Q1 Results?

Chris Lange

Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) is set to report its most recent quarterly results after the markets close on Wednesday. Analysts anticipate $1.74 in earnings per share (EPS) and $17.48 billion. In the first quarter of last year, the social media giant said it had $0.85 in EPS and $15.08 billion in revenue.

In the fourth quarter, daily active users totaled 1.66 billion on average , an increase of 9% year over year. At the same time, monthly active users increased by 8% to 2.50 billion.

Mobile advertising revenue represented roughly 98% of advertising revenue for the fourth quarter of 2019, about the same as in the fourth quarter of the prior year. There are questions for the first quarter and how advertising will play into these results.

Recently, Facebook announced an app to capitalize on the growing mobile gaming trend. The company previously planned to release the app in June, but considering the general quarantine, Facebook moved up the timeline.

Facebook noted that more than 700 million of its 2.5 billion monthly active users are already engaged in gaming content on its platform. However, the government shutdown has pushed the numbers even higher.

Excluding Wednesday’s move, Facebook stock had outperformed the S&P 500 and Dow Jones industrial average despite being about 11% lower year to date. In the past 52 weeks, the share price was down closer to 6%.

Here’s what a few analysts had to say ahead of the report:

  • Stifel has a Buy rating with a $230 price target.
  • RBC has a Buy rating with a $238 target price.
  • UBS’s Buy rating comes with a $223 price target.
  • Raymond James rates it a Strong Buy with a $215 target.
  • Deutsche Bank has a Buy rating and a $200 target price.
  • Mizuho’s Buy rating is accompanied by a $220 target price.
  • Credit Suisse has an Outperform rating and a $234 price target.

Facebook stock traded up about 6% to $194.01 on Wednesday, in a 52-week range of $137.10 to $224.20. The consensus price target is $218.68.