Facebook Rolls On Despite a Few Bumps

Paul Ausick

Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) released its third-quarter 2019 earnings results after markets closed Wednesday. For the quarter, the social media company posted diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $2.12 on revenues of $17.65 billion. In the same period a year ago, the company reported EPS of $1.76 on revenues of $13.73 billion. Third-quarter results compare to consensus estimates for EPS of $1.91 EPS and $17.37 billion in revenues.

The number of daily active users rose 9% year over year to 1.62 billion in September and the monthly active user total rose 8% to 2.45 billion.

Mobile advertising revenue represented approximately 94% of advertising revenue for the quarter, up from about 92% of advertising revenue in the year-ago third quarter.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said:

We had a good quarter and our community and business continue to grow. We are focused on making progress on major social issues and building new experiences that improve people’s lives around the world.

Operating income totaled $7.19 billion, an increase of 24% year over year while operating margin dipped by a point to 41%. Net income of $6.09 billion was 19% higher than in the third quarter of last year.

Facebook reported cash and equivalents of $15.98 billion, up from $10.02 billion in December 2018.

The company did not offer guidance in its release, but analysts have estimated fourth-quarter EPS at $2.49 on revenues of $20.99 billion. For the 2019 fiscal year, analysts have forecast EPS of $6.28 and revenues of $70.24 billion.

A $5 billion fine, unfriendly hearings in Congress, and a Libra currency program that is making enemies in high places can’t stop the Facebook/Instagram/WhatsApp machine from raking in the profits. How long can that last? Apparently a long time.

Facebook’s stock closed Wednesday at $188.25, down about 0.6% for the day. Shares traded up about 1.5% in the after-hours session at $191.00. The 12-month consensus share price was $236.49 before the results were announced.