Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) delivered a strong fourth quarter exhibit yesterday evening- even withstanding slipping numbers for time users are spending on the social media titan’s platform.
For the fourth quarter, CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg’s brainchild outclassed expectations on EPS, achieving $2.21 compared to $1.95 called for by Thomas Reuters consensus. Consider that this time last year, the company had earned $1.41 in EPS- a marked rise in year-over-year gains. Revenue hit a whopping $12.97 billion, soaring past Thomas Reuters consensus of $12.55 billion. In fact, in the fourth quarter of 2016, Facebook had brought $8.81 billion to the table, another flash of impressive growth for the titan. This now marks the company’s 11th consecutive quarterly revenue outclass. Average revenue per user (ARPU) yielded a tall $6.18, against StreetAccount’s forecast of merely $5.90.
Though daily active users (DAUs) landed at 1.4 billion, slightly below StreetAccount’s projection of 1.41 billion, and monthly active users (MAUs) met expectations at 2.13 billion, one must take into account the bigger picture. Compared to this time last year, daily active usership as well as monthly shot up 14% in growth.
However, for a largely robust showcase, Facebook hit a stumble on what could be the first time its daily active users have slipped in the United States and Canada- the company’s leading profitable market. DAUs dipped from 185 million to 184 million with the titan’s monthly user total falling flat in the North American region.
Additionally, Whatsapp and Messenger both boast over 1.3 billion monthly active users, with golden acquisition Instagram now with 800 million plus monthly users.
Zuckerberg notes in a press release that last year’s strength was not without challenges: “2017 was a strong year for Facebook, but it was also a hard one.”
“In 2018, we’re focused on making sure Facebook isn’t just fun to use, but also good for people’s well-being and for society. We’re doing this by encouraging meaningful connections between people rather than passive consumption of content,” the CEO explains, as the News Feed algorithm is getting revamped.
“Already last quarter, we made changes to show fewer viral videos to make sure people’s time is well spent. In total, we made changes that reduced time spent on Facebook by roughly 50 million hours every day,” continues the leader of the social media empire.
Overall, “By focusing on meaningful interactions, I believe that the time spent on Facebook will be more valuable,” adding: “If people interact more, it should lead to stronger community. When you care about something, you’re willing to see ads to experience it,” Zuckerberg concludes.
TipRanks points to the bulls on this social media titan’s massive market opportunity. Out of 32 analysts polled in the last 3 months, 29 are bullish on Facebook stock, 2 remain sidelined, while 1 is bearish on the stock. With a return potential of 19%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $222.07.