Founded in 2004 and based in California in the United States, Facebook is one of the world's leading technology companies. The group is one of the web giants known by the acronym GAFAM. It operates in this sector alongside companies such as Google, Apple, Amazon and Microsoft. During the year 2020, the company's activity was very dynamic. This has continued into 2021.
Facebook ended fiscal year 2020 on a high note. In the fourth quarter, the group reported results that exceeded expectations. In the last three months of this year, its revenue amounted to $28.08 billion. This was 33% higher than the same period last year.
In Q4-2020, the networking giant posted a net profit of $11.22 billion, up 53% year-on-year. Earnings per share were $3.88, up from $2.56 a year earlier. In the period October to December 2020, the company registered 2.80 billion users.
The social network's user base saw a remarkable increase during the holiday season. Approximately, 1.86 billion subscribers log in every day. Furthermore, at the end of December 2020, almost 3.3 billion users were visiting one of the group's apps (Facebook, WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram) at least once a month.
For the full 12 months of 2020, Facebook's annual revenue reached $85.96 billion. It is growing by about 21% compared to 2019. This performance was driven in particular by the explosion of digital practices during the epidemic, particularly online commerce.
For fiscal year 2020, the company posted a net profit of $29.15 billion, up 58% year-on-year. Earnings per share were $10.09, up from $6.43 the previous year.
After closing 2020 on a high note, Facebook has made an explosive start to 2021. The group recorded excellent results in the first quarter. Over the whole period, its turnover reached 26.17 billion dollars. It reported a 48% year-on-year increase.
Also, the social network saw a remarkable increase in profits during this quarter. Its net profit almost doubled to $9.5 billion in Q1-2021, up a strong 94%. A year earlier, it was $4.9 billion. Earnings per share were $3.30.
In terms of the number of users, the company also saw an increase in this area. In the period from January to March 2021, it recorded 2.85 billion monthly active users. This corresponds to an increase of 10% compared to the same time last year.
On the other hand, the number of daily active users reached 1.88 billion in the quarter under review, an increase of 8% year-on-year. In addition, the strong results for the first three months of 2021 were driven by advertising revenues and the remarkable success of the group's online sales platform.
Facebook continued its growth momentum in the second quarter of 2021. Following the strong performance of the previous quarter, the group reported better than expected results in Q2. Over this period, the Californian firm achieved a turnover of 29.08 billion dollars, up 56% year-on-year.
This development was driven in particular by the high price of online advertising during the recovery of the global economy, which was in the meantime affected by the Covid-19 health crisis. The turnover was also higher than the market forecast. The market was expecting a figure of 27.82 billion dollars.
The other major satisfaction of the quarter was the significant increase in the company's profits. Indeed, in Q2 2021, the social networking giant saw its net profit double to $10.4 billion. At the end of June 2021, the number of monthly active users reached 2.9 billion, up 7%.
Daily active users were 1.91 billion for the period April to June 2021. This is a 7% increase on the previous year.
In the third quarter of 2021, Facebook's business continued to grow. Over the entire period, the group generated revenues of $29 billion. This was 35% higher than in Q3 2021. However, this turnover came in slightly below market forecasts. The market was expecting $500 million more.
For the third quarter of 2021, the Californian firm posted a net profit of $9.2 billion. This is a 17% increase over the year. Furthermore, in the period from July to September, the company recorded 3.58 billion monthly active users, an increase of 12% year-on-year.
The number of daily active users reached 2.8 billion at the end of September 2021. This is an 11% year-on-year increase. In addition, the group is optimistic about earnings growth in the fourth quarter.
Like many other technology giants such as Google and Amazon, Facebook does not yet pay a dividend to its shareholders. On the other hand, the company has a strong presence on the stock markets. It carried out its initial public offering in May 2012.
Facebook shares are listed on the Nasdaq on the New York Stock Exchange. In June 2021, the company passed the $1 trillion mark in market capitalisation. It thus joined the closed circle of companies that have reached this milestone. It is the last of the GAFAMs (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft) to reach this level.