REVEALED: How Facebook and Google are STILL posting strong earnings

REVEALED: Facebook and Google are STILL posting strong earnings despite controversies over Mark Zuckerberg’s refusal to fact check ads and a slew of impending antitrust investigations

  • Facebook reported solid third-quarter results Wednesday, even as it faces broad regulatory threats and criticism over its power and negative effects on society
  • And Google reported a revenue increase of 20% year-over-year for the quarter
  • Facebook, Twitter and Google have all been under pressure to police their sites
  • Facebook’s competitive practices currently are under investigation separately by the U.S. Congress, Department of Justice, FTC and 47 state attorneys general
  • Google is under antitrust investigation by the Justice Department, the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee and dozens of state attorneys general
  • The probes don’t seem to have affected its stock price, which is up 23% this year 

Both Facebook and Google are still posting strong earnings, despite political controversies, newly released financial records show.  

Facebook reported solid third-quarter results last Wednesday, showing steady growth in its user base even as it faces broad regulatory threats and criticism over its power and negative effects on society.

And Google reported a revenue increase of 20% year-over-year of $40.5 billion for the quarter on Monday. 

Facebook, Twitter and Alphabet Inc’s Google have all been under pressure to police their platforms after facing criticism for failing to counter Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.  

Facebook said that it earned $6.09 billion, or $2.12 per share, in the July-September period, up 19% from $5.14 billion, or $1.76 per share, in the same period a year earlier. Revenue grew 29% to $17.65 billion from $13.73 billion. Analysts on FactSet had expected earnings of $2.11 per share and revenue of $17.37 billion

Google’s quarterly revenue rose 20% to $40.5 billion — slightly above the $40.3 billion expected by Wall Street. Google, along with other major tech companies, is the subject of multiple antitrust investigations in the U.S. The probes don’t seem to have affected its stock price, which is up more than 23% this year

Google parent company Alphabet announced Q3 2019 earnings with $40.49 billion in revenue. That’s up from $33.74 billion in Q3 2018 and $27.77 billion in 2017, reports show

Facebook reported solid third-quarter results last Wednesday, showing steady growth in its user base even as it faces broad regulatory threats and criticism over its power on society

CEO Mark Zuckerberg lauded the company’s financial performance before launching into an impassioned monologue about principles and free speech during a conference call with analysts. 

Zuckerberg’s call with analysts began less than an hour after Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced that his company is banning all political ads from its platform, a challenge to Facebook, which has so far stood by its much-criticized decision not to fact check such ads.

‘Today is certainly a historical moment of social tension, and I view an important role of our company as defending free expression,’ Zuckerberg said. 

Right now, he added, the debate is about political ads, saying that while he has considered whether to ban such ads from Facebook, ‘on balance so far I’ve thought we should continue.’

‘I expect that this is going to be a very tough year,’ he said, adding that controversies over political content could lead to investigations. 

Facebook’s competitive practices currently are under investigation separately by the U.S. Congress, Department of Justice, FTC and 47 state attorneys general. 

Zuckerberg said that much of the scrutiny would be around the company’s acquisition of Instagram in 2012, but he said that though Facebook took out a competitor, its eventual success was not guaranteed at the time. 

Though grappling with big societal issues and regulators breathing down its neck, Facebook continued to grow profit and sales in the double digits during the quarter. 

Facebook said that it earned $6.09 billion, or $2.12 per share, in the July-September period, up 19% from $5.14 billion, or $1.76 per share, in the same period a year earlier.

Revenue grew 29% to $17.65 billion from $13.73 billion. Analysts on FactSet had expected earnings of $2.11 per share and revenue of $17.37 billion.

Facebook ended the quarter with 2.45 billion monthly users, up 8% from a year earlier. It also said that about 2.8 billion people use at least one of its services — Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp or Instagram — at least once a month.

‘Advertisers continue to support Facebook, despite the many controversies swirling around the company, and the user base also continues to expand around the world,’ said eMarketer analyst Debra Aho Williamson. 

The company based in Menlo Park, California, has had a rough couple of years and is under growing regulatory scrutiny around the world. In the U.S., it faces several government investigations for alleged anti-competitive behavior, including probes by the Federal Trade Commission and 46 state attorneys general.

Zuckerberg faced prickly questioning from members of Congress last week when he testified about the company’s plans for a digital cryptocurrency.

Google, which is already under antitrust investigation by the Justice Department, the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee and dozens of state attorneys general for allegedly using its massive market power to crush smaller competitors, also showed revenue is up 20% from this point in 2018. 

Google parent company Alphabet announced Q3 2019 earnings with $40.49 billion in revenue. That’s up from $33.74 billion in Q3 2018, reports show. 

The company beat analyst expectations for revenue but fell short on profits. 

Google, along with other major tech companies, is the subject of multiple antitrust investigations in the U.S. The probes don’t seem to have affected its stock price, which is up more than 23% this year. 

Mark Zuckerberg takes his seat to testify before the US House Financial Services Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington on October 23. The CEO lauded the company’s financial performance before launching into an impassioned monologue about principles and free speech during a conference call with analysts

Google CEO Sundar Pichai said he was ‘extremely pleased with the progress we made across the board in the third quarter’ after the company announced Q3 2019 earnings with $40.49 billion in revenue. That’s up from $33.74 billion in Q3 2018

CEO Sundar Pichai said: ‘I am extremely pleased with the progress we made across the board in the third quarter, from our recent advancements in search and quantum computing to our strong revenue growth driven by mobile search, YouTube and Cloud.

‘We’re focused on providing the most helpful services to our users and partners, and we see many opportunities ahead.’

CFO Ruth Porat added: ‘Our businesses delivered another quarter of strong performance, with revenues of $40.5 billion, up 20% versus the third quarter of 2018 and up 22% on a constant currency basis. We continue to invest thoughtfully in talent and infrastructure to support our growth, particularly in newer areas like Cloud and machine learning.’

One such investment could come in the shape of Fitbit Inc. It was announced this week that Alphabet Inc-owned Google will buy the fitness tracker for $2.1 billion, as the biggest Web search company looks to take on Apple and Samsung in the crowded market for smart watches.

The company said on Friday that its users’ health and wellness data would not be used for Google ads. Google said in a blog post that it would give Fitbit users the choice to review, move or delete their data.

Facebook, Twitter and Alphabet Inc’s Google, pictured, have all been under pressure to police their platforms after facing criticism for failing to counter alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election

Facebook’s competitive practices currently are under investigation separately by the U.S. Congress, Department of Justice, FTC and 47 state attorneys general

Google, which has been defending its privacy practices after a number of regulatory probes, said it would be transparent about the data it collects for its devices and would not sell that data.

Facebook executives, whom analysts say typically offer conservative guidance, continued to warn that the company’s revenue could be hurt by external challenges including new features on Facebook and internet browsers enabling people to block the type of online tracking that has been essential to Facebook’s algorithms for targeting ads.

But financial analysts said Facebook remains too popular among users for advertisers to ignore.

‘Yes, Facebook has a lot of challenges it must deal with, but increasing its revenue and user count isn’t one of them,’ Debra Aho addee.   

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