Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) announced Monday that the company will release its fourth quarter and full year results on Wednesday, January 29 after the market close. The social networking giant will also host a conference call at 5 p.m. ET the same day to discuss the results. You can watch the live webcast of the conference call at the company’s Investor Relations page.


Facebook to beat consensus again?

Analysts expect the company’s Q4 earnings to rise 59% compared to the same period a year ago. Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is expected to report 27 cents in earnings with $2.33 billion in revenue. The Mark Zuckerberg-led company had earned 17 cents in EPS and $1.59 billion in revenue in Q4, 2012. During the third quarter of 2013, the company reported $2.02 billion in revenue and 25 cents in earnings.

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has taken several measures to monetize its 1.1 billion user base including the latest video ads. The social networking giant is well positioned to benefit from the surge in online video ads as advertising dollars shift from traditional TV to Internet. The company’s presence is mobile space is also strengthening.

Facebook’s challenges

However, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is facing a big challenge in the mobile category due to the emergence of smartphone social apps such as WhatsApp, WeChat, BBM and Snapchat. A recent study showed that WhatsApp is more popular than Facebook messenger on mobile. BlackBerry Ltd. (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) is also adding several new features to BBM such as free voice calls and BBM Channels to make it a leading smartphone social app.

Research shows that teens are avoiding Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), and now they prefer other apps. One of the biggest concerns teens and their parents have is privacy. Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) requires them to share personal data on the social networking site. In contrast, other apps such as WhatsApp don’t hurt their privacy, while still allowing them to interact, form groups, share status updates and photos. Some teens say they are embarrassed to be on Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) because their parents have also been using the network. Teens say they can’t feel young and free when their parents and relatives are watching everything they do and share on the social network.

It may not affect Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s Q4 results in a big way. But the trend may pose a serious threat to Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) over the long term.