After easily beating Wall Street expectations, shares traded up 7.1 percent after the bell at $171, paring a month-long decline that began with Facebook’s disclosure in March that consultancy Cambridge Analytica had harvested data belonging to millions of users.
The Cambridge Analytica scandal, affecting up to 87 million users and prompting several apologies from Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg, generated calls for regulation and for users to leave the social network, but there was no indication advertisers immediately changed their spending.
“Everybody keeps talking about how bad things are for Facebook, but this earnings report to me is very positive, and reiterates that Facebook is fine, and they’ll get through this,” said Daniel Morgan, senior portfolio manager at Synovus Trust Company. His firm holds about 73,000 shares in Facebook.
Facebook’s quarterly profit beat analysts’ estimates, as a 49 percent jump in quarterly revenue outpaced a 39 percent rise in expenses from a year earlier. The mobile ad business grew on a push to add more video content.
Facebook said monthly active users in the first quarter rose to 2.2 billion, up 13 percent from a year earlier and matching expectations.