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Facebook shares rise as investors focus on earnings beat and look past whistleblower document dump

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Facebook Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Erin Scott | Reuters

Facebook is set to release its third-quarter earnings after the bell Monday, as the company reckons with an onslaught of troubling news coverage from a trove of internal documents released by a whistleblower.

Here’s what analysts are expecting:

  • Earnings: $3.19 per share expected by analysts, according to Refinitiv.
  • Revenue: $29.57 billion expected by analysts, according to Refinitiv.
  • Daily active users (DAUs): 1.93 billion expected by analysts, according to StreetAccount.
  • Monthly active users (MAUs): 2.93 billion expected by analysts, according to StreetAccount.
  • Average revenue per user (ARPU): $10.15 expected by analysts, according to StreetAccount.

With revenue growth forecast to hit 37% in the latest quarter, Facebook is showing it can continue to make an increasing amount of money off its massive user base

But all the recent attention on Facebook stems from a series of reports, initially from The Wall Street Journal, regarding internal research released by former employee Frances Haugen.

Haugen initially shared some of the documents she acquired during her time at Facebook with the Journal, and she then appeared in front of a Senate panel earlier this month to testify about her experiences at the company. Since then, Haugen has released the documents to several more news outlets, leading to additional news articles.

The reports show that Facebook is aware of many of the harms its apps and services cause but either doesn’t rectify the issues or struggles to address them. More documents are expected to be shared daily over the coming weeks.

Since Haugen began leaking documents and testifying, another whistleblower has submitted an affidavit with allegations about Facebook’s behavior, and previous whistleblower Sophie Zhang has again spoken up against the company.

Facebook’s call with analysts on Monday afternoon will be the first time CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks publicly since Haugen began releasing documents. Zuckerberg addressed some of the claims made by Haugen and the Journal in a Facebook post on Oct. 5.

Investors may have additional reasons for concern about the company’s financials.

Rival social media app Snap reported third-quarter earnings last week, and fell short of revenue expectations while also issuing disappointing fourth-quarter guidance. Snap said privacy changes Apple introduced to the iPhone operating system earlier this year disrupted the company’s advertising business. Global supply chain interruptions and labor shortages also reduced demand for advertising, Snap told investors.

Snap shares plummeted 27% after the report, which dragged down other companies in the industry. Facebook and Twitter both dropped about 5%.

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