In the second quarter, Facebook had 968 million daily active users, with 1.5 billion monthly active users. More recently, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that daily active users surpassed 1 billion as more people continued to spend more and more time on the world's largest social network.
"Contrary to comments about Facebook losing its popularity, in particular among younger generations -- Facebook remains the leader of social media in the U.S," said Hannu Verkasalo, CEO of Verto Analytics, via email. "In the last quarter, Facebook reached 95% of the online population, and it is the only service with a 100% reach among users of other top social media properties. No other service comes even close."
Advertising is the company's lifeblood, with much of it coming from mobile advertising. In the second quarter, 76% of the company's $3.827 billion advertising revenue was from mobile, showcasing the power of the company's platform, as initiatives like app-install ads, sponsored posts and others resonated with users and advertisers alike.
Analysts surveyed by
expect the company to earn 52 cents a share in the third quarter on $4.367 billion in revenue. facebook reports earnings after Wednesday's closing bell.
Ahead of the earnings report, here's what analysts are saying about Facebook:
JMP Securities analyst Ronald Josey (Market Outperform, $105 PT)
"We now expect Facebook to report 3Q results that are better than our/ consensus estimates, as Instagram monetization is ramping, Facebook's video ad product continues to strengthen, and overall online advertising growth is accelerating. For 3Q15, we will be watching for: 1) engagement-we project 1.5 billion MAUs, +12.2% Y/Y, and we'll be listening for commentary around the frequency of 1 billion DAUs; 2) advertising revenue growth-we project 50% Y/Y ex-FX growth, though given the tailwinds in social, mobile, and video advertising, our projection could be conservative; 3) Instagram monetization ramp-Instagram fully transitioned to Facebook's ad platform in September and we've seen a ramp in Instagram ads, from across a variety of advertisers, and in new ad formats this quarter; 4) an update on Messenger, WhatsApp,
and Oculus; and 5) EBITDA and cash opex growth-we project 3Q EBITDA of $2.63 billion (+24.4% Y/Y, 59.9% margin) and for cash operating expenses to grow 48% Y/Y. Our $105 price target is based on ~20x our 2016E EV/EBITDA; our EV is $290 billion and EBITDA is $14.2 billion. Given Facebook's three-year revenue and EBITDA CAGRs of 37% and 33%, respectively, we believe our target multiples are appropriate. For 2016, we project revenue of $23.8B (+40.4% Y/Y), EBITDA of $14.3B (+36.6% Y/Y, 60.0% margin), and PF EPS of $2.84."
Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter (Outperform, $115 PT)
"Our estimates are for revenue of $4,395 million and EPS of $0.55, versus consensus of $4,367 million and $0.52. We expect mobile ad revenue, which was 76% of total ad revenue and up 74% y-o-y in Q2, to drive overall topline growth, with mobile News
Feed ads acting as the largest contributor. Facebook should also benefit from the increasing popularity of video among advertisers and users. It is worth noting that Twitter's Q3 revenues were above expectations due in part to video. Although Facebook's video ad business is more mature than Twitter's, recent product rollouts, such as auto-play video ads and carousel ads for Audience Network, should continue that positive momentum for the foreseeable future. Facebook does not provide detailed top- or bottom-line guidance for individual quarters or the year."
Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Youssef Squali (Buy, $105 PT)
"We expect FB to report strong results on Wed., 11/4, showing that user growth and engagement on the platform continue unabated. Revenue growth and margin at 37% Y/Y and 62% (our estimates), respectively, should be among the highest within the Internet group. Strong results out of GOOG, TWTR, and LNKD last week showed that marketers' appetite for online advertising was very healthy throughout 3Q, boding well for FB as the largest recipient of nonsearch ad dollars online. FB continues to be a top pick for us, given its position as the largest/most engaging mass-reach Internet platform for advertisers, unmatched targeting potential, and very potent monetization formats. While Mobile has been the main driver of growth to date, video should start moving the needle more meaningfully heading into 2016, and Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger, and Oculus provide upside optionality medium- to longer-term, in our view."
Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia (Buy, $110 PT)
"We think FB remains one of the best positioned companies to benefit from growth in online advertising. FB has introduced several new advertising products and tools recently that should further enhance confidence among advertisers in the effectiveness of the FB platform. Collectively, these new products and tools should further strengthen FB's positioning over the long term. Separately, eMarketer's upwardly revised forecast recenty for Facebook's 2015 worldwide ad revenue further supports the bull case."