Facebook beat analysts’ expectations for fourth quarter earnings, wrapping up a difficult year marked by rumblings of antitrust actions and content moderation concerns surrounding the 2020 presidential election.
Facebook on Wednesday said its quarter four revenue was $28bn, or $3.88 a share, in the October-December quarter. That beats analyst predictions of $26bn for the quarter and is a 33% increase from the $21bn quarter revenue it reported in the same time period a year earlier.
Still, Facebook’s stocks fell as much as 6% in after-hours trading as the market on the whole experienced its worst day since October 2020.
The earnings announced Wednesday cover only the end of 2020 and thus do not reflect the market’s reaction to revelations about the role of social media in the 6 January insurrection and Facebook’s decision to ban Donald Trump in the subsequent days.
In a statement accompanying the report, Facebooks chief financial officer said the company benefited from the ongoing shift amid the pandemic to online commerce, as well as the shift in consumer demand “towards products and away from services”.
He also stated Facebook continues to face difficulties, including the ongoing economic impact of the pandemic as well as “the evolving regulatory landscape”.
Facebook and other tech giants have been subject to antitrust probes and other regulation in 2020, a trend that is expected continue or accelerate in 2021.
“We continue to face significant uncertainty as we manage through a number of cross currents in 2021,” the statement said.