Facebook Soars Past Q3 Earnings Expectations But Stock Drops After Hours

The social network continues to rapidly grow its mobile user base


Facebook blew past earnings expectations for yet another quarter, but it wasn’t enough for Wall Street, as its stock dropped 1 percent in after-hours trading.

After markets closed Wednesday, the social network reported revenue of $7.0 billion and earnings of $1.09 a share. That was a big jump over its numbers from the same period last year, when the company brought in $4.5 billion in revenue and earnings of 57 cents a share. Analysts had expected revenue of $6.9 billion and earnings of 97 cents a share on average.

“We had another good quarter,” Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and CEO, said in a statement accompanying the earnings. “We’re making progress putting video first across our apps and executing our 10-year technology roadmap.”

Facebook’s user base also continued to grow — especially on mobile devices. Total daily active users climbed 17 percent year-over-year to 1.18 billion, and mobile active users hit 1.09 billion — a 22 percent year-over-year jump.

Mobile advertising has also become an increasingly important part of Facebook’s business, accounting for 84 percent of total ad revenue. That’s up from 78 percent the same quarter the previous year.

However, while the news on Facebook’s financials continues to impress, the news on Facebook’s role as a distributor of actual news is more mixed.

In August, the company fired its entire team in charge of “Trending Topics” after reports that conservative sources were deliberately omitted, replacing them with an algorithm — which has since repeatedly promoted fictional news stories.

Facebook’s role in the dissemination of fake news stories, which have been shared millions of times on the platform, has also drawn criticism from media observers. Zuckerberg, however, continues to insist Facebook is a tech, not media company. Facebook also took some heat for inflating the amount of time people spent watching videos — which command premium ad rates.

The company will hold a webcast at 5 p.m. ET to discuss the earnings release.