Why a Facebook earnings miss could be ‘devastating’

by Yahoo Finance

Social media behemoth Facebook (FB) will report fiscal second-quarter earnings after the close of trading Wednesday. Wall Street analysts are expecting Facebook to report $0.32 EPS and revenue of $2.85 billion — a 55% increase from the same quarter a year ago. Will Facebook deliver?

“They better this company has huge expectations hanging on it,” says Matt Krantz, markets reporter at USA TODAY. “Facebook has beat expectations for the last four quarters. There’s always a possibility of a miss, but that would be devastating.”

Krantz says analysts and investors are specifically looking to see how many new mobile active monthly users Facebook added last quarter — a key metric for determining future growth and profits.

“This is the future,” notes Krantz. “They’ve figured out how to make money with mobile users and they’re getting premium prices for ads.”

According to eMarketer, Facebook controls about 18% of the total ad market (it’s No. 2 after Google) but Facebook could increase its market share to 22%.

Facebook stock continues to outperform the broader market. Shares of Facebook have gained more than 167% in the past year, versus 17% for the S&P 500 Index and 10% for the Dow Jones Industrial Average. It’s been the best-performing stock in the S&P 500 over that period. Five of the 39 analysts who cover Facebook have increased their earnings estimates.