By Alexei Oreskovic
SAN FRANCISCO Jan 30 Facebook Inc
doubled its mobile advertising from the previous quarter as the
world's No. 1 social network expanded its business aggressively
onto handheld devices.
But the growth trailed some of Wall Street's most aggressive
estimates. Extending its reach on mobile devices is crucial as
more and more of its 1 billion-plus users begin to access its
network via smartphones and tablets.
The company's overall advertising business grew at its
fastest clip since before its May initial public offering,
helping the company's revenue expand 40 percent and surpass Wall
Shares of Facebook were flat at $31.24 in after hours
trading on Wednesday, regaining ground after falling more than 8
percent immediately after the numbers were released.
"Overall solid quarter but maybe high expectations going
into the quarter," said Aaron Kessler, an analyst with Raymond
Facebook said its mobile business accounted for 23 percent
of total ad revenue, compared to 14 percent in the third
Some investors may have been expecting more from the mobile
"Mobile revenue was expected to be a little higher," said
Kessler, who said he was looking for mobile revenue to be 25
percent of total ad revenue.
Finance Chief David Ebersman said that Facebook had
"basically doubled" mobile ad revenue from the third quarter to
the fourth quarter.
"Two quarters ago we really had no mobile revenue," Ebersman
told Reuters in an interview. "In the course of a pretty short
period of time, we've dramatically ramped up our ability to
The total number of monthly active users on the social
network reached 1.06 billion at the end of last year, with 618
million daily active users, Facebook said.
Facebook shares, which lost more than half their value
following its May initial public offering, have regained ground
in recent months as concerns about its mobile ad business and
insider selling have eased. Shares have surged roughly 60
percent since mid-November.
Facebook said net income in the fourth quarter was $64
million, or 3 cents a share, compared to $302 million, or 14
cents a share in the year-ago period.
Excluding certain items, Facebook said it earned 17 cents a
share, compared to the 15 cents a share expected by analysts
polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Facebook has ramped up its online advertising services in
recent months, putting a greater emphasis on mobile ads and
introducing capabilities that let marketers target Facebook
users based on their Web browsing history.
Advertising revenue in the fourth quarter grew 41 percent to
$1.33 billion, with mobile ads representing 23 percent of
Facebook's ad revenue.
Facebook's overall fourth-quarter revenue was $1.585
billion, versus $1.131 billion in the year-ago period. Analysts
were looking for revenue of $1.53 billion.