facebook earnings call


Helping people stay connected while we're all apart; assisting the public health response and working on the economic recovery, especially for small businesses. Sheryl maybe you could talk a little bit about the ad auction dynamics. We came out early with our $100 million grants program and we're rolling it out very aggressively around the world, trying to get money to people very quickly. So it's difficult to extrapolate performance based on a small sample of data. In Q1, the total number of ad impressions served across our services increased 39% and the average price per ad decreased 16%. The business resource hub we launched in early May is a one-stop shop where businesses of all sizes can find support in virtual training that can help them migrate online.

So I think all the indicators are positive.

Just the -- the first one for Sheryl or Dave. Turning now to our price and volume metrics. So I think it's probably the market that would be most instructive would be a market like China, but I think for us China is a bit different, because we don't have users in China.

And now I'd like to turn the call over to Mark. Everything you need to know about the market - quick & easy.

The largest Facebook and WhatsApp communities in the world are in India, and we think that there is an especially important opportunity to serve small businesses and enable commerce there over the long-term. So it really wasn't limited to video and messaging, it was broad-based as Mark said, and that's creating supply on the ad impression side as well.

Mark, can you discuss the performance of your gaming platform including Oculus so far. Do you want to take that Sheryl?
Our significant investments in infrastructure over the past four years have served us well during this period of high user engagement. So in this very difficult time for SMBs, we're really focused on doing everything we can to help them survive and even thrive as they help transition online. Right. But I worry that this could be worse than at least some people are predicting. And Dave will share more on our financial outlook in a few minutes. One is, what are we doing now to help SMBs weather the storm and come back to business and be able to pay their employees. Hey guys. We've got a lot of first-party signal.

I do think that it's one of those areas where as people can't go out into the world as much, the ability to have technology that allows us to be physically present or feel present even when we can be physically together, whether that's Quest or Portal or any of the software that we're building around video presence that stuff is certainly seen especially large spikes in usage and it's possible that this brings accelerate some of the trends around adoption of things like virtual or augmented reality. Yes, sure. That's -- I talked about live video in my opening remarks and people live streaming gaming content is certainly one big category that's growing quickly and that we're investing a lot in. Dave, I don't know if you want to say anything about the second point. While this reflects a moderate reduction in the planned growth rate of total expenses, our overall expense growth in the face of expected revenue weakness will have a negative impact on our 2020 operating margins. The Ascent is The Motley Fool's new personal finance brand devoted to helping you live a richer life. Snap Inc (NYSE: SNAP), during the third-quarter earnings call Tuesday, suggested that the company may have benefited from an advertising boycott affecting rival Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB). Live video is also particularly important right now. We accepted our profit margins will decrease this year as we continue investing. I have two, I think probably both for Mark. But we haven't updated that specific stat that we gave back four years ago. We don't allow content that puts people at imminent risk of physical harm. That means measuring the value of their advertising is more important than ever, which is something our personalized ads provide.

People used to primarily live stream physical events, but it's almost known as planning physical events right now livestreaming has become the primary venue for many events, whether that's the Pope's weekly mass on Facebook Live or DJs hosting dance parties on Instagram, every day more than 800 million daily actives are engaging with live streams, across workout classes, concerts and more. I wish we can make more of them faster during this period. People are looking for businesses on Facebook and Instagram more than usual during this crisis. Now beyond helping people broadly access high quality informationm, we're also focused on helping governments and health authorities get better data in a privacy protective way to inform key policy decisions that they need to make as well.

So this is a moment where we feel that we're well positioned to be champions for small businesses interests and supporters of important infrastructure that they're going to need in order to move online. Quest has has surpassed our expectations. Operating income was $5.9 billion representing a 33% operating margin and our tax rate was 16%. And right now we are experiencing both of those all around the world at the same time.

How we see our responsibilities and how we are thinking about the future. Thanks everyone for joining us today. Excluding the $3 billion expense we recorded in Q1 related to our settlement with the FTC, Q1 of last year that is, related to our settlement with the FTC, total expenses were up 35% year-over-year. Hope everyone is safe. But the other reflection that I've had is that, I think if you're going to have a business, which is primarily advertising, which is our plan for the long-term, then I think you have to recognize that advertising is more volatile and sensitive to the macro economy, and therefore if you're going to have this kind of a business, I think you really want to maintain high margins. We're doing our coordination.

But it's really for many years driven our business. So you talked about shopping.

Mark Mahaney -- RBC Capital Markets -- Analyst. Companies of all types are adapting to a world where people aren't walking into their stores or seeing their brand on billboards. We are fortunate to be in a strong financial position. After initially putting their employees on unpaid leave, these sales increased their revenue and helped restore employees to full pay. So I guess, how does that mix look today?

And we're in a fortunate position to be able to do this. ET today. Q1 ad revenue was $17.4 billion, up 17% or 19% on a constant currency basis.

The live webcast of Facebook's earnings conference call can be accessed at investor.fb.com, along with the earnings press release, financial tables, and slide presentation. And I can talk to the margins a bit. I think that we'll see a meaningful economic hit if I had to predict for the period of the health emergency. So it's well aligned with what people need now. That means measuring as hard as possible. It's hard to know what is just correlated with the pandemic versus people are doing more video chat or messaging, so therefore they also connect more in other parts of the products, but I do think, overall, we believe that providing a broad set of social tools for people is -- and just providing more value for people does include all of the different services which is important because as you know, some of the services for our business we include ads in and some we don't.

Our focus is first and foremost on helping our broad community navigate these challenges. As Sheryl mentioned there was a great deal of variability by vertical. We've got some businesses that are obviously suffering greatly from the shelter-in-place orders and then we have SMBs, who are also digital natives and have online objectives and those are doing relatively better. We have also worked closely with the US government Small Business Administration to spread the word to small businesses about how to apply for relief loans reaching 30 million accounts across Facebook and Instagram with this information. During the last three weeks of March, travel and auto were our weakest verticals and we saw relative strength in gaming technology and e-commerce. Your next question comes from the line of Mark Mahaney from RBC. [Operator Instructions] Your first question comes from the line of Brian Nowak from Morgan Stanley. We're monitoring usage closely and adding capacity in our data centers where we can. We're not concentrated. Our view is that video presence includes three categories. And Sheryl and Dave are going to give some more context on what that means for our business.

EPS for the quarter was $0.01 per share, 6 cents higher than analyst estimates. So that way when we go through periods like this, you can make sure that we remain stable and healthy and able to keep on building the things that are important for the long term. Deborah Crawford -- Vice President, Investor Relations.

Okay, Brian. The investments we've made in shared infrastructure that cover all of our different services over the years, has helped us manage through this, but it has been a challenge while all our teams have been working remotely. Net income was $4.9 billion or $1.71 per share.

And then Dave, maybe if I could just ask one quickly, I don't think you called it out, but I am curious if you could identify the credit loss assumption in the quarter and what the number might have been or is that something we might have to wait for the 10-Q for? Now even before COVID-19, our product strategy is already focused on building out private social platforms and enabling online commerce.

Great. In March, we estimate that on average 2.3 billion people used at least one of our services on a daily basis and that approximately 3 billion people were active on a monthly basis. Actual results may differ materially from those contemplated by these forward-looking statements. We are also launching new products to help businesses adapt to changing circumstances.

We have a responsibility to help during this uncertain time by connecting billions of people when they are separated physically, getting vital health information on a -- to people on a dramatic scale and helping small businesses survive. So we started rolling out things like catalogs in WhatsApp, we're working on payments to be able to complete transactions and we've rolled out a new ad format, click to messaging ads, where basically a lot of small businesses and different businesses are finding that their message threads with people perform better for driving sales than their websites or other presences, they basically buy ads inside Facebook or Instagram and send people through chat threads. Your next question comes from the line of Youssef Squali from SunTrust. So it's hard to really read too much into the experience. Your next question comes from the line of Ross Sandler from Barclays.

We are also mindful of the challenges many businesses are facing in this crisis, including the 140 million small businesses who use our platform.

So we partnered with Carnegie Mellon to run a widespread symptom survey on Facebook, and we're using their findings to produce daily county-by-county maps of the symptoms that people are experiencing across the country, and soon globally as well.

And then understanding you're not giving guidance, but talk to us about some of the key verticals that would be needed to sort of bring the business back to growth as we go throughout the year? The COVID-19 pandemic is having a broad impact on our community metrics, revenue, expenses and business operations. The growth of impressions was primarily driven by Facebook Mobile newsfeed, due to product optimizations we made prior to the pandemic as well as from increased engagement that I talked about earlier.

Download the investor presentation - earnings call slides.

So that's working well. Two questions. There is a tremendous amount of macro uncertainty.

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