What scandal? Facebook shrugged off the impact of a massive data leak and reported better-than-expected revenue for the 12th straight quarter when the social network reported its Q1 earnings after the bell on Wednesday.
Facebook pulled in $11.97 billion in revenue and earnings of $1.69 a share for the three months ended March 31 — pushing past analyst expectations of $1.35 a share and sales of $11.41 billion. The revenue haul was a 49 percent year-over-year increase.
The social network saw a slight uptick in daily active users, hitting 1.45 billion DAUs, compared with 1.40 billion last quarter. After losing daily users in North America for the first time last quarter, Facebook bounced back in Q1, adding back the 1 million users it lost while hitting 185 million DAUs. Its monthly active users increased to 2.2 billion overall, slightly passing Wall Street expectations of 2.19 billion.
Facebook shares jumped 4.6 percent in extended trading on Wednesday, hitting $167.40 a share.
“Despite facing important challenges, our community and business are off to a strong start in 2018,” said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a statement. “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.”
Facebook was humming along for much of the quarter before being derailed by the Cambridge Analytica data leak — where up to 87 million users had their information unknowingly grabbed by the political firm in 2014. To be sure, with the leak only coming to light in the final weeks of the quarter, its reverberations might not be felt until the social network reports for Q2. Still, the incident forced Facebook and its execs into a series of mea culpas, along with changes to how the company shares data with apps and advertisers.
It’s share price has taken a beating in the meantime, falling from about $185 a share in mid-March — pushing near all-time highs for the company — to $160 a share heading into Wednesday afternoon.
The dip appeared to be a buying opportunity for Facebook’s board, however, with the company announcing a $9 billion share buyback in its earnings release.
One thing conspicuously missing from Facebook’s earnings release, as well as Zuckerberg’s comments, was how much time users are spending on the platform. Last quarter, the chief exec said users “reduced time spent on Facebook by roughly 50 million hours every day” — or about 2.1 minutes on average for each user.
The company will hold a conference call to discuss its earnings at 5 p.m. ET.