Facebook shares fall following earnings result

By Mariam Cheik-Hussein | 3 February 2020
Mark Zuckerberg

Sahres in Facebook fell more than 7% after reporting a slowing in revenue growth and increasing operating expenses in its final earnings report for 2019.

The social media company posted a growth in advertising revenue for the fourth quarter, at $US20.736 billion, compared to $16.640 billion the same period last year. Its full-year revenue was up by 27% at $69.655 billion.

While the figures beat earnings expectations, investors are concerned about the slowing rate of growth for the company, combined with the increasing costs of keeping the social media giant, which also owns Instagram and Whatsapp, running. The company’s operating costs for 2019 were up by 51% year-on-year, at $46.711 billion.

However, in a call to investors CEO Mark Zuckerberg described the results as a “good quarter” for the business. He also highlighted Facebook’s plan to roll out new products as it tries to monetise its family of apps.

Zuckerberg also spoke about the image of the company, which has been criticised for its approach to issues such as political advertising and free speech.

“One critique of our approach for much of the last decade was that because we wanted to be liked, we didn't always communicate our views as clearly because we worried about offending people,” Zuckerberg says.

“This led to positive but shallow sentiment towards us and towards the company. My goal for this next decade isn't to be liked, but to be understood. In order to be trusted, people need to know what you stand for.”

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