The tech industry boomed over the last few months, as is evident by strong quarterly performance by companies like Microsoft, Alphabet, Apple and of course, Facebook. The king of social media witnessed a majestic first quarter, recording its best Q1 in its entire history.
Its success was mainly driven by surging advertising and increased prices, causing the company’s total revenue to increase by 48% to come to $26.17 billion for the quarter.
For the first quarter of 2021, Facebook’s earnings per share (EPS) came to $3.30 per share, surpassing the expected $2.37 per share (a year-on-year increase of 93%). Revenue for the same period exceeded the estimated $23.67 billion. The company’s net income grew 94% to $9.5 billion. Additionally, Facebook logged daily active users and monthly active users at 1.88 billion and 2.85 billion respectively, while its average revenue per user rose to $9.27 per user.
Facebook’s user base across its main app, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp exceeded estimates to come to 3.45 billion monthly active people in the quarter, a year-over-year increase of 15%.
“We had a strong quarter as we helped people stay connected and businesses grow,” said Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder, and CEO. “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 said that they were pleased with the significant increase in the growth of their advertising revenue in Q1 2021, which included a 30% year-over-year increase in the average price per ad and a 12% increase in the number of ads delivered.
For the second quarter of the year, it expected its year-over-year revenue growth to remain stable or accelerate moderately when compared to the growth during the second quarter of 2020. In the third and final quarters of the year, the company forecasts year-over-year total revenue growth rates to significantly decelerate sequentially.
Facebook’s revenue from sources other than advertising came at $732 million for the quarter, a year-over-year increase of 146%.
“We continue to expect increased ad targeting headwinds in 2021 from regulatory and platform changes, notably the recently-launched iOS 14.5 update, which we expect to begin having an impact in the second quarter. This is factored into our outlook,” Facebook said.
The company forecast its total expenses in 2021 to be around $70-73 billion, with its year-over-year growth being driven by investments in technical and product talent, infrastructure, and consumer hardware-related costs.
The company maintained its stand that it remained committed to investing for long-term growth.
“Our expense outlook reflects the underlying strength of our business and the compelling investment opportunities we see across our products, including consumer hardware,” Facebook said.
It added that its capital expenditures, which were mainly fueled by its investments in data centers, servers, network infrastructure, and office facilities, were expected to be in the range of $19-21 billion.
“Commerce across all these platforms is going to be very important, and certainly in a platform that we’re building like this, we want to enable payments very easily to make it so the economics all work out for developers,” Zuckerberg said.
“If we become the best place for creators to make a living that’s going to mean that there’s better content across the services and better opportunities for community building and engaging people,” he added. “And that’s what we care about.”