Meta CFO Condemns ‘Horrific Violence in the Middle East’ During Earnings Call

The Facebook and Instagram parent company says ad demand could be softened by the Israel-Hamas conflict

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Facebook and Instagram’s parent company Meta issued a strong statement regarding the “horrific violence in the Middle East,” but warned the company could see advertising demand volatility. 

On Wednesday, Meta released the company’s third-quarter financial results for 2023, reporting net income of $11.6 billion, or diluted earnings of $4.39 per share. Meta’s revenue grew 23% year over year to $34.1 billion, beating Wall Street expectations. 

Meta chief financial officer Susan Li started her statement by saying “Our thoughts are with everyone who has been impacted by the horrific violence in the Middle East,” in reference to the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas.

“We know that our services can be a vital tool for information and connection and expression at a moment like this,” Li said. “We’re continuing to monitor the situation and are doing everything we can to keep people safe and to keep our services secure.”

The Meta CFO said that online commerce and gaming are “seeing continued strong advertiser demand,” going into the fourth quarter. However, Meta is “seeing more volatility at the start of the quarter,” Li said. 

“While we don’t have material direct revenue exposure to Israel and the Middle East,” Li continued, “we have observed softer ad spend in the beginning of the fourth quarter, correlating with the start of the conflict, which is captured in our Q4 revenue outlook.”

Li noted that while it’s difficult to “attribute demand softness directly to any specific geopolitical event,” Meta has seen softening demand surrounding “regional conflicts in the past.” The Meta CFO specifically referenced the Ukraine war as one of those instances. 

“This is something that we’re continuing to monitor,” Li added. 

Li assured that Meta will “also remain disciplined with our investment approach as we navigate a volatile environment.”

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