Jul 30, 2020 - Economy

Facebook beats Wall Street estimates despite pandemic and boycott

Photo: Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images

Facebook's stock was up more than 6% in after-hours trading on Thursday, after the tech giant reported strong revenue growth, despite a global ad slowdown due to the pandemic and a growing advertiser boycott.

Why it matters: Facebook's ability to beat top and bottom line revenue expectations amid the coronavirus crisis and the boycott speaks to the strength of the company's appeal to marketers despite serious challenges.

Yes, but: The company wasn't totally immune to the headwinds facing the ad market. While it reported strong user engagement numbers as people have been stranded at home, it also experienced its slowest quarter for advertising growth (up 11%) since going public in 2012.

The big picture: The report comes on the heels of Wednesday's historic antitrust hearing in which CEO Mark Zuckerberg, along with executives of other tech giants, answered questions about their market dominance and business practices.

By the numbers, per CNBC:

  • Earnings: $1.80 vs. $1.39 per share forecast by Refinitv
  • Revenue: $18.7 billion vs. $17.4 billion forecast by Refinitiv
  • Daily active users (DAUs):  1.79 billion vs. 1.7 billion forecast by FactSet
  • Monthly active users (MAUs):  2.7 billion vs. 2.6 billion forecast by FactSet

What's next: The company says it expects that as shelter-in-place restrictions continue to ease, the number of Facebook users will likely be "flat or slightly down in most regions" in the third quarter of 2020 compared to the second quarter of the year.

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