Facebook’s share price plunged more than 20 per cent after it reported its Q2 earnings, wiping out as much as $150 billion from the company’s market capitalisation.
The social media giant missed revenue expectations and issued a warning that its revenue growth is starting to decelerate. User growth is also slowing down.
Update 27/07/2018: Facebook shares closed down almost 19 per cent wiping more than $120 billion from its market capitalisation.
During the second quarter revenue increased 42 per cent to $13.23 billion. Mobile ad revenue was $11.9 billion, a 50 per cent increase year-over-year, making up approximately 91 per cent of total ad revenue.
But the company warned that growth rate will decline by “high-single digit percentages” in Q3 and Q4.
Facebook executives said the deceleration is primarily caused by currency headwinds, but also cited investment in new products like Stories, which has lower levels of monetisation (ie fewer ads) and giving “more choice around privacy” under GDPR. Facebook users in Europe can now select to receive advertising which isn’t targeted, which generate less revenue for the company.
Users also grew, but more slowly than in previous quarters.
Monthly active users on Facebook reached 2.23 billion and daily active users grew to 1.47 billion, both up 11 per cent year-over-year. According to Recode it was the lowest quarter-over-quarter jump since at least early 2011.
GDPR also had an impact on user numbers, company executives said. It now has around 1 million fewer monthly Facebook users in Europe.
Facebook introduced a “family-wide audience metric” — 2.5 billion people use Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram or Messenger each month.
The stock price tanked in after hours trading and, if it holds, it would be Facebook’s largest single-day decline, beating a 12 per cent decrease in July 2012, according to Reuters analysis.
The social media giant’s share price took a dive back in March, when the Cambridge Analytica story broke, but had well and truly recovered despite a constant flow of critical coverage spanning from data misuse to fake profiles and accounts. Following its last financial results in April it appeared the company had shrugged off its scandal, post a 63 per cent increase in profit and strong user growth.
The drop was the biggest single-day market cap loss a US company in history.