What Scandal? Facebook Has $44 Billion in Cash, 27 Thousand Employees, and Its Revenue Rose 50%

Facebook co-founder, Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg arrives to testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill April 11, 2018 in Washington, DC. This is the second day of testimony before Congress by Zuckerberg, 33, after it was reported that 87 …
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There was a lot of chatter on Wall Street over the past few weeks that Facebook might want to report a relatively quiet quarter this time around.

The idea was that it would look unseemly to report another quarterly boom while the company was fending off scandalous headlines about data abuse and lawmakers exploiting the scandal to make headlines.

Keep your head down. No one will blame you. You can come back with the big numbers later.

Some even said that investors wouldn’t punish the company if it missed analyst expectations because, you know, wink, wink, the company was just doing what it had to do to get through a difficult time.

If Facebook heard any of that advice–which, I mean, of course it did, it’s Facebook, it hears everything–it was happy to ignore it.

Facebook reported a riotous quarter. Adjusted earnings per share were $1.69, topping expectations of $1.35. Last year the company reported $1.04. Revenue rose by 50 percent to $11.97 billion. Analysts had forecast $11.4 billion.

Users did not exactly abandon the company over the scandal. Monthly active users were 2.2 billion, up 70 million since December. Daily active users–people on Facebook every day!–was 1.45 billion.

Facebook said in its quarterly results that cash and equivalents rose to $44 billion. That is, by the way, twice the total market capitalization of Twitter. Meaning, Facebook could buy Twitter twice in cash before it had to dip into any rainy day funds. Mark Zuckerberg might not own @jack but he knows he could.

But Facebook isn’t going to buy Twitter. Like every other investor, it prefers Facebook shares. It said it would buy back an additional $9 billion shares this year, on top of the $6 billion already announced.

Facebook is now mostly a mobile company, earning 91 percent of its ad revenue from mobile. This is improving its operating margins, which jumped from 41 percent in the first quarter of 2017 to 46 percent.

Your odds of working at Facebook have increased dramatically. Headcount is up 48 percent compared with a year ago, to 27,742.


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