Facebook Inc (FB) Q2 Earnings: Investors Want To Hear About Instagram

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Facebook Q2 earnings (FB) are due after closing bell on Wednesday, and analysts are looking for $1.12 per share in earnings on a GAAP basis, on $9.2 billion in revenue. In last year’s second quarter, the social media firm posted earnings of 97 cents per share on $6.4 billion in revenue.

Focus on Instagram in Facebook Q2 earnings (FB)

Facebook (FB) has adjusted for the shift from non-GAAP to GAAP earnings, but the next transition will be to the new revenue-reporting rules set forth by regulators, which go into effect at the beginning of next year. Analysts and investors alike seem focused on Instagram’s results, just as they were focused on YouTube in Alphabet’s earnings report last night. However, the Google parent disappointed by not breaking out YouTube’s results from the second quarter, so will Facebook Q2 earnings include Instagram results?

The reason Instagram has captured so much attention is because it appears to be the source of a good deal of Facebook’s (FB) growth now. The company has added many new features to it, many of which are carbon copies of Snapchat’s features. Instagram’s results have never been broken out separately, but the company might be required to start doing that when the new revenue-recognition rules go into effect. The only question now is whether Facebook Inc (FB) will rip the band-aid off quickly, so to speak, or wait until the last second and regulators require it to break out Instagram separately.

A clue suggesting a beat in Facebook Q2 earnings (FB)

Citi analysts offered up a clue they found that could tell us about how much Facebook Q2 earnings (FB) will be, reports CNBC. They found a 93% correlation between Facebook’s ad revenue and Alphabet’s “core sites” revenue, and Alphabet’s results suggest the social media firm will surprise to the upside.

Because of Alphabet’s results, they’re predicting a 51% increase year over year in Facebook’s ad revenue, which implies earnings of $1.44 per share. That would absolutely blow the consensus away, although CNBC adds that it’s unclear whether Citi’s estimate is comparable to consensus. The shift from a focus on non-GAAP results to one on GAAP numbers is still causing a bit of confusion where analyst estimates are concerned.

Facebook Inc (FB) stock plunged last night in after-hours trades, and it sagged again during regular trading hours on Tuesday, falling by as much as 0.74% to $164.77. The shares soared above $166 just yesterday during regular trading hours. If Citi ends up being right about Facebook Q2 earnings (FB), then investors will have to buckle up and hold on for a wild ride on Wednesday after the social media firm reports its second quarter results.

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