Facebook has shrugged off concerns about scandals and calls for boycotts to post strong financial results for the fourth quarter of 2018, sending its stock leaping 8% in after-hours trading on Wednesday.
The Silicon Valley social networking giant beat Wall Street’s expectations on both the bottom line in Q4 2018. It netted $16.91 billion in revenue in the final three months of the year, growing 30% year-on-year, while its EPS was $2.38.
The results are a rare bright spot for the beleagured social network, which has suffered through years of bruising crises. But the numbers show that Facebook has still managed to continue to grow its userbase, despite increasing scrutiny over the potentially harmful effects of tech and calls for people to delete their accounts due to Facebook’s behaviour.
The social network now has 1.523 billion daily active users — marginally more than in Q3 2018, 1.495 billion. And it has also returned to user growth in Europe, after going into decline in early 2018. It now has 2.82 million daily active users on the continent — up from 278 million three months prior.
Here are the key numbers:
- Revenue: $16.91 billion ($16.39 billion expected)
- Earnings per share (GAAP): $2.38 ($2.18 expected)
- Monthly Active Users: 2.32 billion (in line with expectations)
- Daily Active Users: 1.52 billion (1.51 billion expected)
Like the rest of 2018, the fourth quarter was packed with scandals and upsets for the social network, from scrutiny over WhatsApp’s spread of misinformation in Brazil to the seizure of damaging internal documents by the UK Parliament and allegations of racism from a former employee.
2.7 billion people around the world now use either Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, or Messenger at least once a month, Facebook says, up from 2.6 billion three months ago.
Facebook’s overall revenues for 2018 sit at $55.8 billion — up 37% on 2017. And its costs are rising too. Its capital investments for the year are $13.9 billion, nearly twice as much as 2017’s $6.7 billion.
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