Photo: Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images

Facebook's stock was up nearly 7% in after-hours trading Wednesday after the company beat investor expectations for earnings, user growth and revenue.

Why it matters: The positive earnings show, as they have many times over the past two years, that the company can still sell ads despite being dogged by major scandals.

By the numbers, via CNBC:

  • Earnings: $2.38 per share, vs. $2.19 forecast by Refinitiv consensus estimates
  • Revenue: $16.91 billion, vs. $16.39 billion forecast by Refinitiv consensus estimates
  • Daily active users: 1.52 billion, vs. 1.52 billion forecast by Refinitiv consensus estimates
  • Monthly active users: 2.32 billion, vs. 2.32 billion forecast by Refinitiv consensus estimates
  • Average revenue per user: $7.37, vs. $7.11 forecast by FactSet estimates
  • App "family" usage: Facebook now says that roughly 2.7 billion people use its "family of apps," which includes Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger, each month, up from around 2.6 billion from last quarter. On average, it says, more than 2 billion people use one of its services every day.

What they're saying: Facebook now has 7 million advertisers across its services, David Fischer, VP of advertising and global operations, told Axios. "If we can drive a return, they stick with us and invest more with us as time goes by," he said.

  • "As we think about our priorities of ensuring safety and security of our platform, while at same time growing our community and business, I think this quarter demonstrates that we can do both, and that remains a key priority in 2019."

Key statistic: Fischer says that 66% of the core Facebook app users are daily active users.

  • "People have hypothesized over time, as we continue to grow our user base ... that it's likely that you’ll get less engagement. So the fact that we actually see that daily active as percentage of monthly active remain high and fairly steady, we think, means that people are having positive experiences on our platform and that's what keeps them coming back."

The takeaway: While user growth was strong, just about matching estimates, average revenue per user was up much higher than expected, proving that Facebook has improved its ability to monetize users.

The big picture: Facebook had some of its worst scandals last quarter, including a major data breach, a scandal involving the seizure of many revealing documents by the U.K. Parliament, and the revelations of two independent reports commissioned by the Senate Intelligence Committee that found that the Russian efforts to interfere in U.S. elections using Facebook were much greater than was initially understood.

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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  2. World: Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases
  3. Europe faces "stronger and deadlier" wave France imposes lockdown Germany to close bars and restaurants for a month.
  4. Sports: Boston Marathon delayed MLB to investigate Dodgers player who joined celebration after positive COVID test.

In pictures: Storm Zeta churns inland after lashing Louisiana

Debris on the streets as then-Hurricane Zeta passes over in Arabi, Louisiana, on Oct. 28. It's the third hurricane to hit Louisiana in about two months, after Laura and Delta. Photo: Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

Tropical Storm Zeta has killed at least two people, triggered flooding, downed powerlines and caused widespread outages since making landfall in Louisiana as a Category 2 hurricane on Wednesday.

The big picture: A record 11 named storms have made landfall in the U.S. this year. Zeta is the fifth named storm to do so in Louisiana in 2020, the most ever recorded. It weakened t0 a tropical storm early Thursday, as it continued to lash parts of Alabama and the Florida Panhandle with heavy rains and strong winds.

4 hours ago - World

Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases

Catholics go through containment protocols including body-temperature measurement and hands-sanitisation before entering the Saint Christopher Parish Church, Taipei City, Taiwan, in July. Photo: Ceng Shou Yi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Taiwan on Thursday marked no locally transmitted coronavirus cases for 200 days, as the island of 23 million people's total number of infections reported stands at 550 and the COVID-19 death toll at seven.

Why it matters: Nowhere else has reached such a milestone. While COVID-19 cases surge across the U.S. and Europe, Taiwan's last locally transmitted case was on April 12. Experts credit tightly regulated travel, early border closure, "rigorous contact tracing, technology-enforced quarantine and universal mask wearing" and the island state's previous experience with the SARS virus for the achievement, per Bloomberg.

Go deeper: As Taiwan's profile rises, so does risk of conflict with China