Facebook is still in the middle of its House Intelligence Committee hearing about Russian election interference, but the looming concerns over misuse haven’t dampened its business as profits continue to soar and its share price hits an all-time high.
Still, CEO Mark Zuckerberg saw it fit to break from his traditional “Our business is doing well” script to add “But none of that matters if our services are used in ways that don’t bring people closer together. We’re serious about preventing abuse on our platforms. We’re investing so much in security that it will impact our profitability. Protecting our community is more important than maximizing our profits.”
But those changes haven’t hit Facebook’s profitability yet, as it climbed 79% year-over-year to $4.7 billion. Facebook’s announced Q3 2017 earnings today, continuing its streak of beating estimates. Facebook earned $10.3 billion in revenue and $1.59 GAAP actual earnings per share, compared to estimates of $9.84 billion in revenue and $1.28 EPS. Facebook’s EPS is up 76% year-over-year, showing how efficient of a money-maker it’s become.
Revenue growth was 47% year-over-year compared to 59% in Q3 2016, which matches Facebook’s warnings that it’s running out of space to show ads. Mobile as a percentage of Facebook’s ad revenue inched up from 87% to 88% this quarter as it reaches a stabilization point in its successful shift to mobile. Average revenue per daily active user reached $7.51 vs $5.95 a year ago. That 26% increase shows how even as Facebook’s daily user growth has grown a more modest 16% over the year, Facebook has found better and better ways to squeeze money out of people.
As for users counts, Facebook now has 2.06 billion monthly active users, up 3.19% compared to last quarter’s 2.006 billion and 3.4% growth rate. Daily active users reached 1.37 billion, up 3.8% quarter-over-quarter. Facebook’s stickiness, or the percentage of monthly actives users that return each day has stayed flat at 66% since Q1 2016. But that’s actually a great success, since most apps grow less sticky over time as users churn and the less engaged long-tail signs up.
Facebook’s share price had closed at $182.66 prior to the earnings announcement, and climbed 1.28% in after-hours trading.
It’s been a grim few months for Facebook, which has struggled to improve its abuse detection systems following Russian election interference. Meanwhile, it’s scared news publishers with tests of a News Feed that removes all Pages and places them in a separate, buried feed. But prioritizing the user experience has allowed Facebook to continue to thrive amidst its many challenges and widespread public backlash.
Facebook beats in Q3 with $4.7B profit, record share price despite Russia’s shadow – TechCrunch