Facebook's First Earnings Report Since IPO Met With Skepticism
Facebook's first quarterly financial report as a publicly traded company was about what analysts were expecting on Thursday, with profit of 12 cents per share, after certain items, on revenue that was up 32 percent to $1.2 billion.
While Facebook posted a net loss of $157 million, reversing a profit of $240 million a year ago, without certain items its net income was $295 million, amounting to 12 cents per share, about what Wall Street was looking for.
The widely watched second-quarter report was accepted with mild enthusiasm at first, with shares rising as much as 4 percent in after-hours trading, but they quickly headed south to as much as an 11 percent decline. Some analysts blamed the drop on Facebook's decision to not offer current-quarter guidance, leading some investors to presume that there isn't much positive for the company to report on that front.
The online advertising business is healthy, and Facebook's share of it is expected to grow fast.
In the second quarter this year, U.S. spending for online advertising rose 24 percent over the year-ago frame to $9.5 billion and it's expected to grow 23 percent fo ther entire year to $39.5 billion, according to eMarketer. Facebook is expected to capture 6.5 percent of that annual market this year, up from 5.4 percent in 2011.
Facebook shares fell 9 percent Thursday to $26.84, mostly in sympathy with partner Zynga, the maker of Words With Friends and other popular social games, which saw its stock plummet 38 percent Thursday to $3.17 on a soft earnings report the day prior.
Facebook shares on Thursday closed 40percent below their all-time high of $45, set the day the company went public two months ago.
"Our goal is to help every person stay connected and every product they use be a great social experience," Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Thursday.