Facebook delivers solid Q3 results as ad sales soar

CEO Mark Zuckerberg focused his prepared remarks around Facebook's response to the congressional investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
Written by Natalie Gagliordi, Contributor

Facebook reported third quarter earnings and revenue Wednesday that soared past analyst estimates, but CEO Mark Zuckerberg focused his commentary around Facebook's response to the ongoing congressional investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

"Our community continues to grow and our business is doing well," Zuckerberg said in prepared remarks.

"But none of that matters if our services are used in ways that don't bring people closer together. We're serious about preventing abuse on our platforms. We're investing so much in security that it will impact our profitability. Protecting our community is more important than maximizing our profits."

As for the numbers, the tech giant reported a net income of $4.7 billion, or 83 cents a share. Non-GAAP earnings were $1.59 per share on revenue of $10.33 billion, up 47 precent from last year.

Wall Street was looking for earnings of $1.28 per share with $9.84 billion in revenue.

The world's largest social network now stands at more than 2.07 billion monthly active users, representing an increase of 16 percent from the same quarter last year. Daily active users reached 1.37 billion, also an increase of 16 percent over the same time last year.


Facebook's total advertising revenue rose 49 percent in Q3 to $10.14 billion. Facebook didn't break out numbers for mobile users, but the mobile segment was solid in terms of advertising, representing 88 percent of all ad revenue for the quarter.

Despite the massive growth in ad revenue, Facebook still faces scrutiny for running Russia-backed ads during the 2016 presidential election. Facebook revealed last month that suspected Russian trolls spent more than $100,000 on inflammatory ads from June 2015 to May 2017 that at least 29 million US people may have seen in their newsfeed. The revelation has triggered bi-partisan support for new disclosure laws for online political ads.

Representatives from Facebook, Twitter and Google testified before lawmakers on Capitol Hill this week about Russian election interference. All three company representatives agreed with the intelligence community's assessment that the Kremlin played a central role in launching propaganda operations against the US before and during the 2016 election cycle.

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