Apr 24, 2019

Facebook expects to be fined billions by U.S. government

Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg in May 2018. Photo: GERARD JULIEN/AFP/Getty Images

Facebook told investors it expects a Federal Trade Commission fine of up to $5 billion, driving down its GAAP earnings per share. Still, Facebook stock was up more than 4% in after-hours trading Wednesday after reporting otherwise positive first-quarter earnings.

Why it matters: Reports had suggested that the FTC could slap Facebook with a multibillion-dollar fine as a result of an ongoing investigation into Facebook's handling of data privacy. Facebook says it expects a loss of $3 to $5 billion from the debacle. The matter still unresolved.

The big picture: Despite the write-down for a major fine that it is anticipating around the way it managed user privacy, the company still continues to grow, adding more users and advertising dollars and meeting Wall Street expectations.

The details: The company reported that its GAAP EPS was $85 cents, compared to a consensus of $1.62 and down from $1.89, due to a "one-time charge," that was attributed to the FTC's inquiry.

By the numbers:

  • Earnings: $85 cents vs. $1.63 per share forecast by Refinitiv
  • Revenue: $15.08 vs. $14.98 billion, forecast by Refinitiv
  • Daily active users: 1.56 billion vs. 1.56 billion, forecast by FactSet
  • Monthly active users: 2.3 billion vs. 2.37 billion, forecast by FactSet
  • Average revenue per user: $6.42 vs. $6.39, forecast by FactSet
  • "Family of apps" daily active users: 2.1 billion
  • "Family of apps" monthly active users: 2.7 billion

Go deeper: For tech giants, profits far outweigh fines

Go deeper

The cracks in Trump’s GOP shield

Photo Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images

President Trump’s mockery of coronavirus masks, his false claims about the dangers of voting by mail and his insinuations that a cable TV nemesis was involved in a murder are testing more high-profile Republicans' willingness to look the other way.

The big picture: Republicans learned a long time ago how dangerous it is to alienate Trump’s base — which is why any hint of disagreement, even a whisper, is so remarkable when it happens.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. cities crack down on protesters

The scene near the 5th police precinct during a demonstration calling for justice for George Floyd in Minneapolis on Saturday. Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images

Major U.S. cities have implemented curfews and called on National Guard to mobilize as thousands of demonstrators gather across the nation to continue protesting the death of George Floyd.

The state of play: Hundreds have already been arrested as tensions continue to rise between protesters and local governments. Protesters are setting police cars on fire as freeways remain blocked and windows are shattered, per the Washington Post. Law enforcement officials are using tear gas and rubber bullets to try to disperse crowds and send protesters home.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

George Floyd protests: What you need to know

Photo: David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

Clashes erupted between law enforcement and protesters in several major U.S. cities Saturday night as demonstrations over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black men spread across the country.

The big picture: Floyd's death in Minneapolis police custody is the latest reminder of the disparities between black and white communities in the U.S. and comes as African Americans grapple with higher death rates from the coronavirus and higher unemployment from trying to stem its spread.