Facebook outperformed Wall Street expectations, as it has pretty much every quarter for the past five years, but bigger issues loom for the social giant.
Facebook reported earnings of $1.59 per share on $10.3 billion in revenue for the third quarter, blowing away analyst expectations of $1.28 per share on $9.84 billion in revenue. Facebook’s revenue is up 49 percent over last year and its net profits of $4.7 billion represent an increase of 79 percent over last year.
Facebook stock hit an all-time high of more than $182 per share in after-hours trading, following the earnings report. Facebook shares have risen close to 59 percent since the start of the year.
Facebook employed 23,165 at the end of September, an increase of 47 percent over last year. Facebook added close to 2,500 people this quarter.
Facebook’s monthly active user base now numbers 2.07 billion, up 16 percent over this time last year. The number of daily Facebook users is 1.37 billion.
Advertising continues to lead the way for Facebook, making up 98 percent of its revenue. Mobile advertising represented 88 percent of the company’s overall ad dollars.
But despite the glowing financials and resulting stock spike, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg warned that the company’s efforts to crackdown on abuse and up security could eat into profits.
“Our community continues to grow and our business is doing well,” said Zuckerberg. “But none of that matters if our services are used in ways that don’t bring people closer together. We’re serious about preventing abuse on our platforms. We’re investing so much in security that it will impact our profitability. Protecting our community is more important than maximizing our profits.”
Facebook’s strong financial results come as the social media giant is in the spotlight for how Russian operatives used its platform to influence U.S. voters in the 2016 presidential election. A report this week from The New York Times indicated Russian government-backed agents created posts that reached about 126 million Facebook users around the Nov. 8 election. For reference, there are roughly 200 million registered voters in America.
Facebook, along with Google and Twitter representatives, testified in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee. The tech giants said they still don’t know how much influence Russian agents wield on their platforms dodged questions about whether they would support a bill to hold political ads on their platforms to the same standards as television and radio.
Facebook has exceeded earnings expectations in 21 of its 22 reports since going public in 2012. It is also the eighth straight quarter of Facebook growing revenue by more than 45 percent year-over-year.