- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Tumblr
Facebook has unveiled first-quarter results that underlined continuing user growth during the pandemic, while also warning revenue growth would slow down toward the end of 2021, when compared with the COVID-era growth in 2020.
Facebook, which is led by Mark Zuckerberg, on Wednesday reported that revenue grew 48 percent during the fourth quarter to $26.1 billion, with advertising revenue rising 46 percent to $25.4 billion. It also recorded net income of $9.5 billion, or earnings per share of $3.30, on the strong advertising gains.
Analysts were looking for $23.71 billion in revenue for the quarter, up 33 percent from a year-earlier $17.7 billion, and earnings of $2.33 per share. Stock in Facebook jumped $14.95, or nearly 5 percent, to $322.05 in after-hours trading.
Facebook had 1.88 billion daily active users at the end of the first quarter, up 8 percent from a year earlier. And the social media platform had 2.85 billion monthly active users. FactSet forecast DAUs would be 1.89 billion and the MAUs would come to 2.86 billion.
“We are pleased with the strength of our advertising revenue growth in the first quarter of 2021, which was driven by a 30 percent year-over-year increase in the average price per ad and a 12 percent increase in the number of ads delivered. We expect that advertising revenue growth will continue to be primarily driven by price during the rest of 2021,” Facebook said in commentary that accompanied its latest results.
At the same time, Facebook as it looks beyond the pandemic, which brought surging user demand as people sheltered in their homes, added it expected “second quarter 2021 year-over-year total revenue growth to remain stable or modestly accelerate relative to the growth rate in the first quarter of 2021 as we lap slower growth related to the pandemic during the second quarter of 2020. In the third and fourth quarters of 2021, we expect year-over-year total revenue growth rates to significantly decelerate sequentially as we lap periods of increasingly strong growth.”
During an analyst call, Zuckerberg said Facebook is investing heavily in augmented reality and virtual reality as long-term opportunities for the social media giant. “I believe augmented and virtual reality are going to enable a deeper sense of presence in social connection than any existing platform,” he told investors.
Zuckerberg also pointed to new e-commerce products and services being developed for Facebook’s evolving Marketplace online commerce business, while also pointing to expanding opportunities to offer podcasts and other audio products.
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg also addressed Apple introducing an iOS 14 privacy update that will impact her company’s advertising conversions. “We’re working with our customers to implement Apple’s API and our own aggregated events measurement API to mitigate the impact of the iOS 14 changes,” she told analysts.
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day