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Facebook’s share price plummets after reporting slumped growth

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Facebook missed analyst estimates for its second quarter, dashing hopes that the worst was over and causing its share price to fall more than 23 per cent in after-hours trading.

Reporting its results tonight, the social media giant revealed its monthly active user numbers had grown to 2.23bn at an increase of just 11 per cent, falling short of consensus estimates of 2.25bn as polled by Thomson Reuters.

The companys total revenue rose 41.9 per cent in the three months ending in June to $13.23bn (£10.1bn), compared to estimates of $13.36bn. Advertising sales, its main profit driver, rose 42 per cent across the quarter to $13.04bn.

Read more: Facebooks long-promised growth slowdown seems to be nowhere in sight

However powered by a concerted effort on Facebooks part to rectify its tarnished image on data security and content, the firms total costs rose 50 per cent year-on-year to $7.37bn.

To the relief of some investors, Facebooks earnings per share for the quarter were $1.74, a rise of 32 per cent compared to 2017 and beating estimates of $1.72.

Some traders had taken the recent performance of Alphabet, which beat estimates on its advertising revenue, as a sign that Facebook's earnings would perform similarly.

Read more: Alphabet's second quarter income takes a $4.7bn hit, but beats estimates

Haris Anwar, a senior analyst at Investing.com, said that he would hesitate to call the report "disastrous".

"No doubt Facebook numbers are showing some signs of weakness following data leaks and fake news scandals, but this outcome isn't a complete surprise, given a growing threat of regulations and aggressive spending the company is making to improve its platform," he said.

"Facebook has a lot of firepower to deal with these temporary setbacks. It can sustain its growth trajectory through other properties, such as Instagram, Whatsapp and Messenger, which are fully ripe to improve its top-line."

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