Facebook (FB) earnings Q1 2020

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The founder and CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg speaks during the 56th Munich Security Conference in Munich, southern Germany, on February 15, 2020.

Christof Stache | AFP | Getty Images

Facebook will announce its first quarter earnings results on Wednesday after the bell. 

Analysts surveyed by Refinitiv expect $1.75 in earnings per share and $17.41 billion in revenue for the first quarter. However, comparing Facebook’s results against analysts’ estimates is not straightforward given the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on economies around the world. 

Facebook has seen an increase in user engagement as a result of the coronavirus, but it has also warned that the pandemic has adversely affected the company’s advertising business. 

Last week, Facebook announced Messenger Rooms, a new product that will allow up to 50 people to join free video calls. As part of the product lunch, Facebook announced that Messenger and WhatsApp video calling has more than double in many countries while views of Facebook Live and Instagram Live videos had “increased significantly in March.”

And yet, COO Sheryl Sandberg in March told Bloomberg that no one knows how big the impact coronavirus will on the marketing industry. 

“This is not going to business as usual, and the marketing industry is certainly going to see a real impact,” Sandberg said.

Facebook in late March also published a blog post saying that despite increased usage, its “business is being adversely affected like so many others around the world.” 

“We don’t monetize many of the services where we’re seeing increased engagement, and we’ve seen a weakening in our ads business in countries taking aggressive actions to reduce the spread of Covid-19,” the company said in the post.

Despite challenges to its ad business, Facebook has been proactive throughout the coronavirus pandemic. The company set up a $100 million program to help small businesses, it has provided $1,000 bonuses to employees and it said it plans to hire 10,000 workers in 2020.

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