Facebook Beats Street Expectations
January 28, 2021
Facebook reported financial results for the quarter and full year
ended December 31, 2020.
The firm had earnings of $3.88 per share with only $3.22 per share
expected. On revenue, $28.07 billion was reported with only $26.44
"We had a strong end to the year as people and businesses continued
to use our services during these challenging times," said Mark
Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and CEO. "I'm excited about our product
roadmap for 2021 as we build new and meaningful ways to create
economic opportunity, build community and help people just have
Fourth Quarter and Full
Year 2020 Operational and Other Financial Highlights
Facebook daily active users (DAUs) – DAUs were 1.84 billion on
average for December 2020, an increase of 11% year-over-year.
Facebook monthly active users
(MAUs) – MAUs were 2.80 billion as of December 31, 2020, an increase
of 12% year-over-year.
Family daily active people
(DAP) – DAP was 2.60 billion on average for December 2020, an
increase of 15% year-over-year.
Family monthly active people
(MAP) – MAP was 3.30 billion as of December 31, 2020, an increase of
Capital expenditures – Capital
expenditures, including principal payments on finance leases, were
$4.82 billion and $15.72 billion for the fourth quarter and full
year of 2020, respectively.
Cash and cash equivalents and
marketable securities – Cash and cash equivalents and marketable
securities were $61.95 billion as of December 31, 2020.
Headcount – Headcount was
58,604 as of December 31, 2020, an increase of 30% year-over-year.
We continue to face significant uncertainty as we manage through
a number of cross currents in 2021.
We believe our business has benefited from two broad economic trends
playing out during the pandemic. The first is the ongoing shift
towards online commerce. The second is the shift in consumer demand
towards products and away from services. We believe these shifts
provided a tailwind to our advertising business in the second half
of 2020 given our strength in product verticals sold via online
commerce and our lower exposure to service verticals like travel.
Looking forward, a moderation or reversal in one or both of these
trends could serve as a headwind to our advertising revenue growth.
At the same time, in the first half of 2021, we will be lapping a
period of growth that was negatively impacted by reduced advertising
demand during the early stages of the pandemic. As a result, we
expect year-over-year growth rates in total revenue to remain stable
or modestly accelerate sequentially in the first and second quarters
of 2021. In the second half of the year, we will lap periods of
increasingly strong growth, which will significantly pressure
year-over-year growth rates.
We also expect to face more significant ad targeting headwinds in
2021. This includes the impact of platform changes, notably iOS 14,
as well as the evolving regulatory landscape. While the timing of
the iOS 14 changes remains uncertain, we would expect to see an
impact beginning late in the first quarter.
is also continuing uncertainty around the viability of transatlantic
data transfers in light of recent European regulatory developments,
and like other companies in our industry, we are closely monitoring
the potential impact on our European operations as these
We expect 2021 total expenses to be in the range of $68-73 billion,
unchanged from our prior outlook. This is driven by investments in
technical and product talent as well as continued growth in
We continue to expect 2021 capital expenditures to be in the range
of $21-23 billion, driven by data centers, servers, network
infrastructure, and office facilities. Our outlook includes spend
that was delayed from 2020 due to the impact of the pandemic on our
We continue to expect our full-year 2021 tax rate to be in the