Facebook Earnings Beat - Revenue Misses

October 26, 2021

Facebook reported financial results for the quarter ended September 30, 2021. The firm's earnings came in at $3.22 vs $3.19 per share which was expected. The big tech company's top line revenue was $29.01 billion, but $29.57 billion was expected.

"We made good progress this quarter and our community continues to grow," said Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and CEO. "I'm excited about our roadmap, especially around creators, commerce, and helping to build the metaverse."

CFO Outlook Commentary

Starting with our results for the fourth quarter of 2021, we plan to break out Facebook Reality Labs, or FRL, as a separate reporting segment. As we have discussed, we are dedicating significant resources toward our augmented and virtual reality products and services, which are an important part of our work to develop the next generation of online social experiences. The new segment disclosures will provide additional information on the performance of FRL and the investments we are making.

Under this reporting structure, we will provide revenue and operating profit for two segments: The first segment, Family of Apps, will include Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, WhatsApp and other services. The second segment, Facebook Reality Labs, will include augmented and virtual reality related hardware, software and content. We expect our investment in Facebook Reality Labs to reduce our overall operating profit in 2021 by approximately $10 billion. We are committed to bringing this long-term vision to life and we expect to increase our investments for the next several years.

Ahead of the fourth quarter earnings call, we will share additional details about the reporting format of our segmented financials.

We expect fourth quarter 2021 total revenue to be in a range of $31.5 billion to $34 billion. Our outlook reflects the significant uncertainty we face in the fourth quarter in light of continued headwinds from Apple's iOS 14 changes, and macroeconomic and COVID-related factors. In addition, we expect non-ads revenue to be down year-over-year in the fourth quarter as we lap the strong launch of Quest 2 during last year's holiday shopping season.

As previously noted, we also continue to monitor developments regarding the viability of transatlantic data transfers and their potential impact on our European operations.

We expect 2021 total expenses to be in the range of $70-71 billion, updated from our prior outlook of $70-73 billion. We anticipate our full-year 2022 total expenses will be in the range of $91-97 billion, driven by investments in technical and product talent and infrastructure-related costs.

We expect 2021 capital expenditures to be approximately $19 billion, updated from our prior estimate of $19-21 billion. For 2022, we expect capital expenditures to be in the range of $29-34 billion, driven by our investments in data centers, servers, network infrastructure, and office facilities.

We expect our fourth quarter 2021 tax rate to be in the high-teens. Absent any changes to U.S. tax law, we would expect our full-year tax rate in 2022 to be similar to the full-year 2021 rate.

Please note that our outlook for 2022 expenses, capital expenditures and tax rate are preliminary estimates as we have not finalized our 2022 budget.

New Financial Reporting Segment Structure

Beginning in the fourth quarter of 2021, we will implement a new financial reporting segment structure with the following two reportable segments:

Family of Apps (FoA), which includes Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, WhatsApp and other services.

Facebook Reality Labs (FRL), which includes augmented and virtual reality related consumer hardware, software and content.

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