At nearly 3bn users, Facebook stock up as ads stabilise after steep decline

San Francisco, April 30 (IANS) Facebook stock soared nearly 10 per cent in after-hour trading after it declared Q1 earnings where revenues rose 18 per cent at $17.74 billion and operating income jumped 78 per cent on higher margins and net income more than doubled.

Facebook now has 1.73 billion daily active users (DAUs) and 2.6 monthly active users (MAUs). Average revenue per user (ARPU) is $6.95.

The social networking giant said it counts 2.99 billion monthly users across its family of apps, compared to 2.89 billion in the previous quarter.

“Our work has always been about helping you stay connected with the people you care about. With people relying on our services more than ever, we're focused on keeping people safe, informed and connected,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a statement late Wednesday.

He, however, said there are grave concerns about the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic that will last longer than people are currently anticipating.

Facebook experienced a significant reduction in the demand for advertising, as well as a related decline in the pricing of its ads, over the last three weeks of the first quarter of 2020.

“After the initial steep decrease in advertising revenue in March, we have seen signs of stability reflected in the first three weeks of April, where advertising revenue has been approximately flat compared to the same period a year ago, down from the 17 per cent year-over-year growth in the first quarter of 2020,” the company informed.

The April trends reflect weakness across all of its user geographies as most of its major countries have had some sort of shelter-in-place guidelines in effect.

“Due to the increasing uncertainty in our business outlook, we are not providing specific revenue guidance for the second quarter or full-year 2020,” said Facebook.

During the earnings call with analysts, Zuckerberg said: “While there are massive societal costs from the current shelter-in-place restrictions, I worry that re-opening certain places too quickly before inaction rates have been reduced to very minimal levels will almost guarantee future outbreaks and worse longer-term health and economic outcomes”.

Facebook currently employs 48,268 people, an increase of 28 per cent (year-over-year).

The company admitted its business has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and, like all companies, it is facing a period of unprecedented uncertainty in its business outlook.

“We expect our business performance will be impacted by issues beyond our control, including the duration and efficacy of shelter-in-place orders, the effectiveness of economic stimuli around the world, and the fluctuations of currencies relative to the US dollar,' said Facebook.



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