Facebook has warned that its revenue in the current quarter will be hit further by Apple’s privacy changes, the social media company’s latest hurdle amid an ongoing public relations crisis sparked by a leak of internal documents.
Facebook said Monday that revenue for the three months to the end of December will be between $31.5 billion and $34 billion, citing “ongoing headwinds” from Apple’s requirements for apps to obtain explicit permission to track users for the purposes of ad targeting. Analysts expected a jump to $34.8 billion, according to S&P Capital IQ.
Revenue rose 35 percent in the third quarter to $29.01 billion, just below expectations of $29.5 billion. Monthly active users rose 6 percent year-over-year to 2.91 billion, just below the consensus estimate of 2.98 billion.
Facebook earnings at a glance
actual vs estimates
Revenues: $29.01 billion For $29.5 billion
net income: $9.19 billion For $9.16 billion
EPS: $3.22 for $3.17
Advertising sales: $28.27bn For $29.02 billion
Monthly active users: 2.91bn For 2.98 billion
Estimated sources: S&P Capital IQ and Refinitiv
The latest earnings report comes as Facebook battles a torrent of negative press coverage, after several journalists accessed thousands of pages of leaked documents from a former employee turned whistleblower.
Together, the documents revealed the company’s struggle to reduce misinformation and hate speech on the platform, as well as growth challenges among younger users.
Facebook also said that starting in the fourth quarter, it plans to release results for the Facebook Reality Labs unit, which builds its products for virtual and augmented reality, from the rest of the business. It said its recent drive to invest in FRL is expected to cut its 2021 operating profit by about $10 billion.
The company also announced that it would increase its share repurchase program by $50 billion.