Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is scheduled to report its third-quarter financial results for the fiscal 2014 after the market close on Tuesday, October 28.
Analysts at Bernstein Research believed that investors will focus their attention on the most important issue—the evolution of like-per-like pricing of Facebook, Inc (NASDAQ:FB). In addition, investors are also expected to watch the Instagram monetization closely, as well as its mobile ad network.
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Third-quarter earnings and revenue estimates
Bernstein Research analysts Carlos Kirjner and Peter Paskhaver estimated that Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) will post non-GAAP earnings of $0.41 per share and $3.089 billion on revenue compared with the consensus estimate of $0.40 per share and $3.106 billion in revenue.
The analysts emphasized that their estimates for Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) are “inline or slightly above the consensus for the current quarter, but below consensus further out.”
Facebook ad load,user growth become less relevant drivers
Kirjner and Paskhaver expressed uncertainty regarding the price increase on a like-peer-like basis if it is enough to beat expectations in terms of revenue. They emphasized that the ad load and user growth become less relevant drivers in North America and Western Europe.
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) generates majority of its ad revenue in North America and Westen Europe. The analysts expected that the search engine giant’s user growth in both regions will be 0% over the next several quarters. During the previous quarter, Facebook’s users grow by 3% in Canada and the United States and only 1% in Europe.
“Our estimates for 3Q14 imply a continued deceleration of QoQ deseasonalized global ARPU growth from 10% in 2Q14 to 8% in 3Q14 as comp gets harder, partially offset by the effect of continued improvement in targeting…,” according to the analysts.
Analysts added that they remained cautious on the impact of the recent acquisitions of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) on margins and EPS.
2015 revenue growth rate expectations
The analysts suggested that it would be more difficult for Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) to sustain its current revenue growth rate in 2015 (based solely on the increase if Newsfeed revenues in mobile).
Kirjner and Paskhaver believed that the user’s engagement in North America and Western Europe will be lesser given the very high smartphone penetration in the United States and soon to be very high in Western Europe.
The analysts said, “Assuming the Newsfeed ad load does not increase significantly, revenue growth in these regions will come predominantly from price increase on a like-peer-like basis. This will be harder (though by no means impossible) than just increasing inventory as it required improved ad performance to justify a higher effective CPM.”
The analysts emphasized that Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has several potential catalysts from its core site Facebook.com and Instagram in 2015. They noted that Instagram implemented a measured approach in rolling out advertisement domestically and internationally.
According to them, it is perfectly possible for Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) to beat expectations on like-peer-like price increase; the growth of Newsfeed ad load or the contribution of new businesses such as Instagram next year.
“We find it hard to have high conviction and see a downside if pricing at facebook.com does not increase somewhat,” concluded Kirjner and Paskhaver.