Facebook – Robust Search and Social Revenue Growth Counter trend to  Overall Market

Facebook revenue grew robustly in 2Q20, and its CAPEX guidance remained consistent for 2020 compared to previous revisions in the last two quarterly results.

Facebook’s results were counter trend to our expectations that many advertisers would pull back spending do to COVID-19 based on lack of supply (no need to advertise consumer staples) or from consumer spending put on pause (cars that people don’t need while sheltering at home).  We believe Facebook benefited from more time on the platform and from the targeting of specific adds on areas of discretionary spending that did grow like sports equipment (good luck finding a bike, kayak, or other social distancing sports gear) and WFH (consumers shifting patterns of spending more for their residents while WFH or just making the home more comfortable due to extended hours in it).

Facebook, like Google, is under government scrutiny for its scale and size.  We are closely monitoring the trends of government oversight from the US government and well as other countries like Australia which is forcing Facebook to pay for news as well as Microsoft’s potential purchase of Tik Tok (as of writing this over the weekend, they were still pursuing them).  It seems like the duopoly here is not preferred by most governments at this stage and expect election results to polarize the losing party against social media companies into 2021.