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From: Glenn Petersen11/1/2017 8:46:35 PM
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Facebook may have a Russia problem, but it just posted its best quarter ever

Facebook reported $10.3 billion in revenue last quarter, more than analysts expected.

by Kurt Wagner
Recode
Nov 1, 2017, 4:21pm EDT



Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Justin Sullivan / Getty
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Facebook’s Russia problem isn’t affecting the company’s business. At least not yet.

While Facebook’s general counsel testified before Congress on Wednesday to try and explain how Russian state actors used the service in an attempt to spread disinformation around the U.S. presidential election, the social giant reported Q3 earnings on Wednesday. They were great.

Facebook delivered Q3 profits of $1.59 per share on revenue of $10.3 billion, an increase of 47 percent over the same quarter last year. Analysts were expecting $1.28 per share on revenue of $9.84 billion.

Despite the bad mojo that’s surrounding Facebook right now and its potential role in last year’s election, advertisers haven’t been put off.

The social network’s audience is only getting bigger — it now has 1.37 billion daily users, up from 1.18 billion a year ago — and its advertising business is still growing at almost 50 percent year over year. Its average revenue generated per daily user, a number that explains how valuable each user is to the company, is the highest it’s ever been at $7.54.

Some have worried that Facebook’s revenue growth would slow, primarily because the company keeps saying its revenue growth is going to slow, but that just isn’t happening in any meaningful way.

It’s possible that Facebook’s response to Russia’s disinformation campaign could eventually start to hurt its business. It plans to hire thousands of more employees to monitor ads, for example, which will be expensive.

“We're investing so much in security that it will impact our profitability,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a written statement provided along with the earnings numbers. “Protecting our community is more important than maximizing our profits."

So far that hasn’t been an issue. Facebook’s $4.7 billion in profit last quarter is 79 percent higher than it was a year ago.

In case you need another sign that investors aren’t too worried about Facebook’s Russia problem: The company’s stock closed at an all-time high on Wednesday at $182.66 per share. That’s up 47 percent since last year’s presidential election.

It’s up less than 1 percent so far in after-hours trading.

recode.net
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