Facebook's Q3 Beats Expectations but Focus on Security Will Impact Future Results

The in-app store setup by BigBasket Swiggy and Housejoy

Facebook reported revenue of $10.3 billion, beating the consensus estimate of $9.88 billion, as polled by Zacks Investment Research, and up 47% from the year-ago quarter.

Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) reported its third quarter earnings and beat analysts' estimates, but shares fell at Thursday's open after the company provided its expense outlook for the 2018 fiscal year.

Facebook daily active users 1.37 billion versus 1.36 billion estimate.

Founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerbarg said that while the business was "doing well", its focus was on making sure its services weren't being used to drive communities apart.

Alongside video and long-term initiatives in augmented and virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and connectivity, Facebook said "sizable security investments in people and technology to strengthen our systems and prevent abuse" would represent one of the company's major drivers of expense growth in 2018. We're investing so much in security that it will impact our profitability.

Protecting the Facebook community is more important than "maximizing our profits", Zuckerberg said on the call.

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Facebook shares that ended the day up 1.4 percent to $182.66 but retreating in after-market trades to $179.25.

Zuckerberg also said that Instagram Stories and WhatsApp Status both now have 300 million daily active users - up from 250 million in June (Instagram) and July (WhatsApp).

Mobile advertising revenues continue to be dominant contributor to ad revenues as it represented 88 percent of advertising revenue for the quarter, up from 84 percent past year.

Investors are looking for Facebook's ability to grow its ad revenue from sources besides the News Feed, which is nearing the limit of ads it can show. Facebook's advertising policies, however, have been under constant fire over the past few months after the revelation of Russian sponsored ads to induce differences between Americans during the Presidential elections.

Senator Dianne Feinstein of California told the hearing which included lawyers for Facebook, Google and Twitter that the companies need to do more to help combat "cyber warfare". Still, two headwinds were pointed to in the company's call with analysts that are likely to impact the social media giant's future results. "We're building AI to go after more different areas of harmful content and finding fake accounts and other bad actors in the system".

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