Largest social media network Facebook Inc. (FB) has reported its fourth quarter results for period ending December 31, 2019. Going by the results Facebook managed to beat numerous estimates in the quarter however it recorded its slowest revenue growth rate since its initial public offering.
In the fourth quarter Facebook posted earnings per share of $2.56 slightly higher than the estimated $2.53. Revenue in the quarter was $21.08 billion also way above the expected $20.89 billion.
Things weren’t overall smooth for the social media giant, as it reported a revenue growth rate of 24.7% which is way slower than the 29% it reported in the third quarter of 2019. Following these results Facebook has now posted revenue growth rates less than 30% in the last four consecutive quarters.
Before 2019 Facebook was posting revenue growth rates of above 40% in its respective quarterly results.
Total cost and expenses in the fourth quarter were $12.22 billion signifying a 34% increase a value twice as much the 14% increase estimated by analysts.
This rapid increase in cost and expenses pushed down operating margin to 42% from the 46% posted at a similar period last year.
The company attributed the rise in expenses to its privacy practices which has been breached a number of time since 2018 prompting Facebook to hire privacy staff and making extra investments in content moderation.
In addition Facebook said it had reached a consensus to pay $550 million as settlement of an Illinois lawsuit alleging Facebook illegally obtained bio-metric data from millions of Facebook users without their approval.
Following the fourth quarter results the company also announced a $10 billion share buyback program.