Facebook Q3 Earnings Blast Past Expectations; Shares Rise

Facebook's profit totaled $2.71 per share in the third quarter, up from $2.12 per share a year ago, and well above the analyst consensus of $1.90.
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Facebook  (FB) - Get Report shares rose in after-hours trading Thursday, after the social media titan posted profit and revenue numbers that blew away analysts’ expectations for the third quarter.

Revenue registered $21.47 billion in the third quarter, up 22% from $17.65 billion in the year-ago quarter. The FactSet analyst consensus called for $19.8 billion for the latest quarter. Advertising accounted for 99% of this year’s third-quarter revenue.

Profit totaled $7.85 billion, or $2.71 per share, in the latest quarter, up from $6.09 billion, or $2.12 per share a year ago. The analyst consensus called for $1.90 in the latest quarter.

"We had a strong quarter as people and businesses continue to rely on our services to stay connected and create economic opportunity during these tough times," CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a statement. "We continue to make significant investments in our products and hiring in order to deliver new and meaningful experiences for our community around the world."

Facebook’s headcount hit 56,653 as of Sept. 30, an increase of 32% year-over-year.

To be sure, “as expected, in the third quarter, we saw Facebook DAUs [daily active users] and MAUs [monthly active users] in the US & Canada decline slightly from the second quarter 2020 levels, which were elevated due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the company said.

“In the fourth quarter of 2020, we expect this trend to continue and that the number of DAUs and MAUs in the US & Canada will be flat or slightly down compared to the third quarter of 2020.”

Facebook shares rose $2.19, or 0.8%, to $283.02 in after-hours trading.  The stock gained nearly 5% during the regular session Thursday ahead of the earnings report.