Facebook reports strong Q4 and 2020 top and bottom line growth

Facebook reports strong Q4 and 2020 top and bottom line growth
Facebook reported its fourth quarter and full year earnings numbers today. The controversial social networking site reported advertising revenue of $27.19 billion for the fourth quarter running from October through December. That resulted in a 31% year-over-year gain from the $20.74 billion in advertising revenue that the company earned during last year's fourth quarter. For all of 2020, Facebook grossed $84.17 billion, up 21% from 2019's total of $69.66 billion.

During the fourth quarter, Facebook garnered a total of $28.07 billion compared to the $21.08 billion it took in during the same quarter last year. If you're counting, that is a 33% hike on an annual basis. For all of 2020, the company collected $86 billion dollars producing a 22% increase from 2019's top line number of $70.70 billion.

Let's move on to the bottom line. For the period from October through December (yes, also known as the fourth quarter), Facebook earned $11.22 billion or $3.88 per share. Net income was up 53% from the previous year's $7.35 billion while the per share figure reflected a hike of 52% from the $2.56 per share figure attained during Q4 of 2019. For 2020, Facebook reported profits of $29.15 billion or $10.09 per share. That's an annual gain of 58% and 57% respectively over 2019's figures of $18.49 billion and $6.43 per share.

Facebook achieved 1.84 billion Daily Active Users for December 2020, an 11% gain year-over-year. As of the end of last year, the number of Monthly Active Users amounted to 2.80 billion for a 12% annual gain.

For the first half of 2021, Facebook expects revenue to be stable, or show a slight gain. CFO David Wehner said that Facebook expects some issues with ad targeting. As you might recall, Apple and Facebook are fighting each other over Apple's change requiring iOS users to opt-in to receive targeted ads. Wehner says, "We also expect to face more significant ad targeting headwinds in 2021. This includes the impact of platform changes, notably iOS 14, as well as the evolving regulatory landscape. While the timing of the iOS 14 changes remains uncertain, we would expect to see an impact beginning late in the first quarter."

Besides owning Facebook, the company owns Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram. It also runs VR headset producer Oculus and makes the Facebook Portal line of smart displays. 

The earnings report failed to excite Wall Street investors. During the regular trading session, Facebook (FB) shares closed down $9.91 or 3.51% to $272.14. After the report was released slightly after 4pm ET, Facebook dropped another $5.14 or 1.89% to $267.

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