Facebook exceeds third-quarter profit expectations

Facebook exceeded analysts' expectations for its third-quarter profit, but the company's shares still fell after founder Mark Zuckerberg announced it will increase operating costs to prevent abuse on the site.File Photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI

Nov. 2 (UPI) — Facebook reported third-quarter profit and sales that exceeded expectations, although the company’s shares fell after reporting increased cost to combat fake news and hate speech.

The social network’s revenue rose 47 percent to $10.3 billion in the third quarter, exceeding analyst’s average expectation of $9.84 billion. Facebook’s net income also exceeded analysts expectations at $1.59 a share for a total of $4.71 billion.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg issued a statement saying the company is serious about blocking abuse after his network, Twitter and Google were questioned by Congress about Russian political ads this week.

“Protecting our community is more important than maximizing our profits,” Zuckerberg said.

Zuckerberg warned the company’s effort to combat divisive political ads and other forms of abuse will drive its costs higher.

After issuing its initial 2018 expense forecast, Facebook’s stock fell up to 2 percent from trading at $185 a share to near $179.

The company said it would double the number of staff working on safety and security to 20,000 which Chief Financial Officer David Wehner said will cause its 2018 operating expenses to rise significantly.


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