Nov 1, 2017

Facebook earnings hit record, despite Russia probe

Noah Berger / AP

Facebook continued to beat investor expectations on revenue, profit, user growth and advertising growth Thursday, despite facing one of its toughest PR quarters as a company, with probes into Russian meddling into the election on its platform a topic of national conversation.

Why it matters: Their business is exploding despite the Russia hype and concerns earlier this year about ad load slowing due to News Feed saturation.

By the numbers:

  • Revenue: $10.3 billion, up 47% from $7.01 billion last year, beating Wall Street estimates of $9.84 billion
  • EPS: $1.59, up 77% from $0.90 in 2016, beating beating estimates of $1.28.
  • Advertising: $10.1 billion, up 49% from $6.82 billion last year, beating estimates of $9.71B.
  • Mobile Advertising: ~88% of advertising revenue for the third quarter of 2017, up from ~84% of advertising revenue in the third quarter of 2016
  • Users:Daily Active Users (DAUs) 1.37 billion on average for September 2017, up 16% year-over-yearMonthly Active Users (MAUs) were 2.07 billion as of September 30, 2017, up 16% year-over-year

Spotlight on Russia and transparency: Executives also made sure to spotlight how seriously the company is taking the issue of Russian abuse of ads and free speech on its platform.

  • "Our community continues to grow and our business is doing well," said CEO Mark Zuckerberg. "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."
  • COO Sheryl Sandberg said the company was committed to getting this right and that while it is working with Congress on new ad requirements, it won't be "waiting for legislation" to take action.
  • Zuckerberg said it's Facebook's responsibility to users and "society overall" to combat fake news, bullying and hate speech on the platform. To combat those "hard problems," Zuckerberg says Facebook will invest upfront in double the amount of people to review content and ads (bringing the total to 20,000), and more technology like artificial intelligence to weed out and monitor bad content.

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 857,487 — Total deaths: 42,107 — Total recoveries: 178,034.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in confirmed cases. Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 188,172 — Total deaths: 3,873 — Total recoveries: 7,024.
  3. Business updates: Should you pay your rent or mortgage during the coronavirus pandemic? Find out if you are protected under the CARES Act.
  4. Public health updates: More than 400 long-term care facilities across the U.S. report patients with coronavirus — Older adults and people with underlying health conditions are more at risk, new data shows.
  5. Federal government latest: President Trump said the next two weeks would be "very painful," with projections indicating the virus could kill 100,000–240,000 Americans.
  6. U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt: Captain of nuclear aircraft carrier docked in Guam pleaded with the U.S. Navy for more resources after more than 100 members of his crew tested positive.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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World coronavirus updates: UN warns of recession with "no parallel" to recent past

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

The novel coronavirus pandemic is the "greatest test" the world has faced together since the formation of the United Nations just after the Second World War ended in 1945, UN chief António Guterres said Tuesday.

The big picture: COVID-19 cases surged past 856,000 and the death toll exceeded 42,000 Tuesday, per Johns Hopkins data. Italy reported more than 12,000 deaths.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health

White House projects 100,000 to 240,000 U.S. coronavirus deaths

President Trump said at a press briefing on Tuesday that the next two weeks in the U.S. will be "very painful" and that he wants "every American to be prepared for the days that lie ahead," before giving way to Deborah Birx to explain the models informing the White House's new guidance on the coronavirus.

Why it matters: It's a somber new tone from the president that comes after his medical advisers showed him data projecting that the virus could kill 100,000–240,000 Americans — even with strict social distancing guidelines in place.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 hours ago - Health