Jan 30, 2019

Facebook stock up after Q4 earnings beat

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

Blue Cross Blue Shield insurers sue CVS, alleging drug pricing fraud

Photo: John Lamparski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Six Blue Cross Blue Shield insurers have sued CVS Health, alleging the pharmacy chain overcharged them based on "artificially inflated prices" for generic drugs and concealed the true cash prices of those drugs.

The big picture: CVS has faced legal scrutiny over its cash discount programs since 2015, and this lawsuit adds big names to a mounting problem.

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand has only eight active novel coronavirus cases and no COVID-19 patients in hospital after another day of zero new infections. However, the death toll rose to 22.

Zoom in: A top health official told a briefing a 96-year-old woman "was regarded to having recovered from COVID-19 at the time of her death, and COVID-19 is not recorded as the primary cause of her death on her death certificate." But it was decided to include her in the overall tally of deaths related to the virus.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 5,690,951 — Total deaths: 355,575 — Total recoveries — 2,350,071Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 1,699,073 — Total deaths: 100,396 — Total recoveries: 391,508 — Total tested: 15,192,481Map.
  3. Public health: CDC issues guidelines for reopening officesFauci says data is "really quite evident" against hydroxychloroquine.
  4. States: California hospitals strained by patients in MexicoTexas Supreme Court blocks mail-in expansion to state voters.
  5. Business: MGM plans to reopen major Las Vegas resorts in June — African American business owners have seen less relief from PPP, Goldman Sachs says.
  6. Tech: AI will help in the pandemic — but it might not be in time for this one.
  7. World: EU proposes a massive pandemic rescue package.
  8. 1 🎶 thing: Local music venues get rocked by coronavirus.
  9. 🎧 Podcast: Trump vs. Twitter ... vs. Trump.
  10. What should I do? When you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus — Traveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  11. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy