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Facebook's revenue growth despite privacy scandal



Facebook shares rose Wednesday after the social network posted a surprisingly strong 63% increase in revenue and an increase in user numbers, with no sign that the business was hurt by a personal data breach. Slightly outperforming Wall Street expectations, stocks tumbled 7.1 percent after the $ 171 bell, marking a month-long decline that began with Facebook's disclosure in March that consultancy Cambridge Analytica gathered data from millions of users would have. The Cambridge Analytica scandal, which affects up to 87 million users and launched several apologies from chief executive Mark Zuckerberg, called for regulations and users to leave the social network, but there was no indication that advertisers were immediately changing their spending.

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"Everyone always talks about how bad it is for Facebook, but this review is very positive and it reiterates that Facebook is alright, and it will go through me," said Daniel Morgan, senior portfolio manager, Synovus Trust Company , His company holds around 73,000 Facebook shares. Facebook's quarterly earnings surpassed analyst estimates as quarterly revenue rose 49 percent year-on-year by 39 percent. The mobile ad business grew to add more video content.

Facebook said monthly active users in the first quarter rose to 2.2 billion, down 1

3 percent over the previous year and matching expectations, according to Thomson Reuters. The company reversed the decline in daily users in the US and Canada during the last quarter. There were 185 million users, compared to 184 million in the fourth quarter. The results are a ray of hope for the world's largest social network in the months with negative headlines about the company's dealings with personal information, its role in elections and boosting violence in developing countries.
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Facebook, which generated mainly through the sale of personalized advertising sales, has shown how resilient for several quarters Business is The model can be used as long as users return to browse the newsfeed and watch videos. It's about making sure that users are not scared away by scandals. CFO David Wehner told analysts that spending this year would rise between 50 percent and 60 percent, from 45 percent earlier to 60 percent.

Much of Facebook's spend on security and security, said Wehner. The category includes efforts to remove fake accounts, scrub hate speech, and remove violent videos. Facebook said it ended the first quarter with 27,742 employees, up 48 percent from a year earlier. "As long as profits continue to rise rapidly, investors will accept that higher spending to protect data privacy is justified," said Michael Pachter, an analyst with Wedbush Securities. It's been almost two years since Facebook shares rose 7 percent or more during a trading day. They rose 7.2 percent on April 28, 2016, the day after another earnings report for the first quarter.

Net income attributable to Facebook shareholders increased from $ 3.06 billion, or $ 1.04, to $ 4.99 billion, or $ 1.69 per share, in the first quarter Year before. According to Thomson Reuters, analysts expected an average of $ 1.35 per share. Total revenue was $ 11.97 billion, ahead of the analyst estimate of $ 11.41 billion. The company declined to provide some details requested by analysts. It did not share the revenue generated by Instagram, the photo-sharing app that owns it, and it declined to give details about the time on Facebook. Facebook also includes the popular smartphone applications Messenger and WhatsApp.

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Stricter Regulation Facebook ads could become less lucrative as a result They reduce the kinds of data they can use to personalize and target ads to users. However, Facebook's size also means it's good for compliance. Facebook and Alphabet Google together dominate the Internet advertising business worldwide. According to market research firm eMarketer, Facebook is expected to generate 18 percent of global digital ad revenue this year, compared to 31 percent on Google.

The company announced that it is raising the amount repurchased by $ 9 billion. It had originally approved repurchases of up to $ 6 billion. Facebook shares closed at $ 185.09 on March 16, the day the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke on Friday after the bell. In the following days, the company lost more than $ 50 billion in market value. The Cambridge Analytica scandal, which has provoked government scrutiny worldwide, was mentioned only once during a one-hour conference call between analysts and Facebook management when an analyst asked Zuckerberg what he had learned from the congressional hearings at the US Congress This month was "an important moment for the company to hear the feedback and show what we are doing."

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