Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Come on Down, Mark Zuckerberg! How to Read Facebook’s First Earnings Report.

Okay, Mark. Sheryl. David. You’re up. Have fun!

After a string of unpleasant tech earnings reports this week, Facebook gets its shot this afternoon. The big picture is easy: To perform well, the company needs to beat Wall Street’s consensus (earnings of 12 cents per share and revenue of $1.15 billion, though individual estimates are all over the map).

And it will need to spin a convincing story about ads — both its plans for mobile and its overall ad business, which was showing decelerating growth last quarter.

Now throw in other wrinkles. For instance: Will Mark Zuckerberg actually show up? What’s going on with the company’s user and engagement numbers?

And what does Zynga’s disastrous performance yesterday mean for Facebook today? Zynga clearly has a Facebook problem, because Facebook isn’t shoving its games in front of users as often. And that means Mark Pincus will have less revenue to share with Zuckerberg. But as Facebook grows, Zynga becomes a much smaller part of its business.

J.P. Morgan’s Doug Anmuth thinks Zynga’s Q2 results could shave up to $170 million from Facebook’s payments revenue and ultimately knock the company’s overall revenue down by as much as 5 percent. Bernstein’s Carlos Kirjner is more sanguine, and figures the Zynga miss translates into a mere $8 million in missing revenue, “well within the uncertainty interval in our estimates.” We’ll find out soon!

Until then, here’s the first Facebook “cheat sheet” from Citi’s Mark Mahaney (click to enlarge). See you at 4 pm ET for live coverage.

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