Facebook beats analyst estimates for Q3 2020 revenue despite ad boycotts

(Reuters) – Facebook beat analysts’ estimates for quarterly revenue on Thursday, as more businesses used its digital advertising tools during a pandemic-induced surge in online traffic.

Revenue growth at Facebook, the world’s second-biggest seller of online ads after Alphabet Inc’s Google, has been growing despite an unprecedented advertising boycott and a coronavirus-triggered recession.

A July advertising boycott, which drew the support of major advertisers including Unilever, Starbucks Corp, and Coca-Cola, sought to pressure Facebook to take more action against hate speech.

Total revenue, which primarily consists of ad sales, rose to $21.47 billion from $17.65 billion in the third quarter ended September 30, beating analysts’ estimates of $19.82 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Monthly active users rose to 2.74 billion, compared with estimates of 2.70 billion.

Net income came in at $7.85 billion, or $2.71 per share, compared with $6.09 billion, or $2.12 per share, a year earlier.

Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru and Katie Paul in San Francisco; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta

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