Facebook Scores Strong Mobile Growth But Profit Falls
Facebook seemingly blunted some criticism over its mobile strategy by disclosing Wednesday that its ad revenue on such devices rose significantly in the fourth quarter, though the company reported shrinking profits overall.
The social network sold $1.33 billion in ads, up 41 percent over the same quarter a year ago, with 23 percent of that coming from mobile ads, up from 14 percent in the third quarter. Revenue in general was up 40 percent to $1.6 billion, but profit sunk from $302 million in the year-ago quarter to just $64 million this time around.
On a per-share basis and excluding several items, Facebook earned 17 cents, which was two cents better than what analysts had predicted on that basis. Nevertheless, the stock was falling 2 percent in after-hours trading, wiping out a 1.5 percent gain during the regular session.
Since Facebook's famous IPO eight months ago, the stock has traded as high as $45 and as low as $17.55. It ended regular-hours trading on Wednesday at $31.24.
Monthly active users grew 25 percent to 1.06 billion while daily active users rose 28 percent to 618 million during the quarter, Facebook said. Mobile monthly active users rose 57 percent to 680 million.
"In 2012 we connected over a billion people and became a mobile company," said Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. "We enter 2013 with good momentum and will continue to invest to achieve our mission and become a stronger, more valuable company."