Facebook earnings surge

Controversy doesn't touch the sides.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg impressed during Congressional hearings but will it be enough to head off regulation?

The Cambridge Analytica controversy and a “#deleteFacebook” campaign have not hurt Facebook earnings – at least in the three months to March 31.

In fact, the first quarter of 2018 was a good one for the social network.

Net income rose 63% to nearly $US5 billion against the year-ago quarter on revenue that was up 50% to $US11.97b.

Shares [NAS:FB] rose about 7% to $US170.80.

Facebook added 70 million users in the first quarter for a new high of 2.2b. Average daily users edged up to 1.45b.

Mobile advertising now accounts for 91% of Facebook’s revenue, up from the year-ago quarter’s 85%.

But there are clouds on the horizon.

On a conference call, chief financial officer David Wehner said the average monthly and daily user growth in Europe could be flat or down as the EU brings tough new privacy regulations on May 25.

Although chief executive and founder Mark Zuckerberg acquitted himself well in appearances before the US House and Senate, it’s yet to be seen if it will be enough to avoid regulation.

Facebook has not filed a public financial statement with the Companies Office for its New Zealand operation, which books most of its revenue to Ireland, since 2015.

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