Facebook tops earnings targets despite data privacy scandal

In the US and Canada, Facebook gained roughly one million new daily active users over Q1.
Written by Natalie Gagliordi, Contributor

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before Congress over the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Facebook on Wednesday delivered its first quarterly earnings report since the Cambridge Analytica data scandal erupted last month, raising concerns that the social network would see an engagement hit over its privacy issues.

But going by Facebook's balance sheet, the social network has come out relatively unscathed -- so far.

Facebook now stands at more than 2.20 billion monthly active users, representing an increase of 13 percent from the same quarter last year. Daily active users reached 1.45 billion, also an increase of 13 percent over the same time last year.

In the US and Canada, Facebook gained roughly one million new users over Q1 to reach 185 million DAUs.

As for the rest of the numbers, the tech giant reported a net income of $4.98 billion, with non-GAAP earnings of $1.69 per share on revenue of $11.96 billion, up 49 precent from last year.

Wall Street was looking for earnings of $1.35 per share with $11.41 billion in revenue. Facebook's stock rose more than four percent in after-hours trading.

"Despite facing important challenges, our community and business are off to a strong start in 2018," said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, in prepared remarks. "We are taking a broader view of our responsibility and investing to make sure our services are used for good. But we also need to keep building new tools to help people connect, strengthen our communities, and bring the world closer together."

Read more: Trump-linked data firm Cambridge Analytica harvested data on 50 million Facebook profiles to help target voters | Data breach exposes Cambridge Analytica's data mining tools | How Cambridge Analytica used your Facebook data to help elect Trump

The other key metric from Facebook's Q1 report is how much money it made from advertising. The company said total ad revenue rose 50 percent from a year ago to $11.79 billion. Facebook didn't break out numbers for mobile users, but the mobile segment was solid in terms of advertising, representing 91 percent of all ad revenue for the quarter.

While Facebook came out on top this quarter, its Q2 could tell an entirely different story. Facebook disclosed the Cambridge Analytica fiasco in mid-March with only two weeks left in the first quarter.

Related: At hearing, Facebook's Zuckerberg rejects law to protect privacy of children | How to tell if Cambridge Analytica accessed your Facebook data | Facebook fallout: Big Brands' adversarial ad strategies exposed

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