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Facebook posts increased profits due to ad business, but cautions revenue growth will slow

Facebook’s daily active users hit 1.88 billion on average for March 2021

Facebook has announced a profit of $10.39bn for its second-quarter earnings, citing increased digital advertising spend as a key factor.

However, Facebook cautioned that it expects revenue growth to slow in the second half of 2021.

“We had a strong quarter as we helped people stay connected and businesses grow,” said Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and chief executive officer of Facebook.

“We will continue to invest aggressively to deliver new and meaningful experiences for years to come, including in newer areas like augmented and virtual reality, commerce, and the creator economy.”

Facebook’s rivals Alphabet, Apple and Microsoft have in recent days all posted record-breaking quarters, highlighting the gains made by a technology sector that has become the lifeblood of the economy during repeated lockdowns.

What are the highlights of the earnings?

  • Facebook’s daily active users hit 1.88 billion on average for March 2021, an increase of 8% year-on-year.

  • Facebook’s monthly active users reached 2.85 billion as of March 31 2021, an increase of 10% year-on-year.

  • Facebook’s capital expenditures, including principal payments on finance leases, were $4.42bn for the first quarter of 2021.

  • The platform’s cash and cash equivalents and marketable securities were $64.22bn as of March 31 2021.

  • Facebook’s headcount was 60,654 as of March 31 2021 – an increase of 26% year-on-year.

  • Facebook expects its 2021 total expenses to be in the range of $70-73bn, updated from our prior outlook of $68-73bn, driven by investments in technology and product talent, infrastructure, and consumer hardware-related costs.

  • It expects 2021 capital expenditures to be in the range of $19-21bn, down from our prior estimate of $21-23bn, driven primarily by investments in data centers, servers, network infrastructure and office facilities.

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