Oct 28, 2019

Facebook needs strong earnings to distract from its D.C. backlash

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
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Reproduced from CivicScience; Chart: Axios Visuals

Facebook and its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, have been on another wild ride.

The state of play: They've been dragged on television by opportunistic members of Congress and are fielding multiple antitrust inquiries, while attempting to push forward with the Libra digital currency. Libra is facing mounting resistance from regulators and legislators around the globe.

  • Its latest quandary is a refusal to ban political ads that include false statements. Data shows a wide majority of users want all political ads off the platform.

Reality check: Despite all the bad publicity, the one thing Facebook has been able to do quarter after quarter is deliver solid earnings.

By the numbers: Analysts are expecting earnings of $1.90 per share and Q3 revenue of $17.3 billion, 26.3% higher than last year, when the company reports after the bell on Oct. 30.

  • However, Facebook is on track to post earnings per share of $6.26 on revenue of $70.2 billion for the year, an annual EPS decline of 19.07%.
  • It would be the first year of negative EPS growth since 2012, the year Facebook debuted on the Nasdaq.

Go deeper: Platforms give pols a free pass to lie

Go deeper

Trump says he will campaign against Lisa Murkowski after her support for Mattis

Trump with Barr and Meadows outside St. John's Episcopal church in Washington, D.C. on June 1. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump tweeted on Thursday that he would endorse "any candidate" with a pulse who runs against Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

Driving the news: Murkowski said on Thursday that she supported former defense secretary James Mattis' condemnation of Trump over his response to protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing. She described Mattis' statement as "true, honest, necessary and overdue," Politico's Andrew Desiderio reports.

4 hours ago - World

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Trump visits Mattis and the Pentagon in 2018. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty

Over the course of just a few hours, President Trump was rebuffed by the Secretary of Defense over his call for troops in the streets and accused by James Mattis, his former Pentagon chief, of trampling the Constitution for political gain.

Why it matters: Current and former leaders of the U.S. military are drawing a line over Trump's demand for a militarized response to the protests and unrest that have swept the country over the killing of George Floyd by police.

New York Times says Tom Cotton op-ed did not meet standards

Photo: Avalon/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

A New York Times spokesperson said in a statement Thursday that the paper will be changing its editorial board processes after a Wednesday op-ed by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), which called for President Trump to "send in the troops" in order to quell violent protests, failed to meet its standards.

Why it matters: The shift comes after Times employees began a coordinated movement on social media on Wednesday and Thursday that argued that publishing the op-ed put black staff in danger. Cotton wrote that Trump should invoke the Insurrection Act in order to deploy the U.S. military against rioters that have overwhelmed police forces in cities across the country.