Facebook revenues top expectations

NEW YORK — Facebook’s posted a 60 percent revenue increase in the third quarter thanks to mobile advertising growth. The numbers beat Wall Street’s expectations for the second consecutive quarter.

The world’s largest social network said Wednesday that it earned $425 million, or 17 cents per share, in the July-September period. That’s up from a loss of $59 million, or 2 cents per share, in the same period a year ago.

Adjusted earnings were $621 million, or 25 cents per share, in the latest quarter. That’s 6 cents better than analysts expected. This figure excludes special items, mainly stock compensation expenses.

Revenue grew 60 percent to $2.02 billion from $1.26 billion, helped by increasing mobile advertising revenue.

Analysts, on average, were expecting revenue of $1.91 billion, according to FactSet.

“The strong results we achieved this quarter show that we’re prepared for the next phase of our company, as we work to bring the next five billion people online and into the knowledge economy,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a statement.

Facebook’s advertising revenue was $1.8 billion, up 66 percent from a year ago. Mobile ads accounted for 49 percent of the company’s total ad revenue during the quarter. In the second quarter, mobile ads amounted to 41 percent of the total. The increase shows Facebook’s strategy to become a “mobile-first” company is paying off.

At the same time, Facebook is growing its share of the mobile advertising market. Research firm eMarketer estimates that Facebook will grab 15.8 percent of the world’s mobile ad spending this year, up from 5.4 percent last year. Google Inc., meanwhile, is expected to capture 53.2 percent this year, up slightly from a 52.4 percent share in 2012.

There were 1.19 billion Facebook users as of the end of September, up 18 percent from a year ago. Of these, an average of 728 million users logged in every day during the month of September, up 25 percent from a year ago.

Facebook had 874 million monthly mobile users at the end of the quarter, up 45 percent year-over-year. In a conference call with analysts, though, Facebook finance chief David Ebersman said that the company did see a decrease in daily use among younger teenagers. That’s been a concern for some analysts who fear young people are migrating to newer sites. Luckily for Facebook, this includes the photo-sharing service it owns, Instagram.

After soaring as much as 18 percent to $57.98 after the results came out, shares of Menlo Park, Calif.-based Facebook fell back to $49.80 in extended trading during the company’s conference call. The stock had closed Wednesday’s regular trading day down 39 cents at $49.01.

As expected, the quarter’s operating expenses increased as Facebook continued to invest in growing its staff and enhancing its technical infrastructure. Total costs were $1.28 billion in the latest quarter, up 45 percent from $885 million a year ago. The company ended the quarter with nearly 5,800 employees, up 34 percent from a year earlier.

Facebook went public in May 2012 at $38 per share. It took the stock more than a year to surpass that price as the company worked to prove that it could grow mobile advertising revenue at a time when an increasing number of its users were accessing it on cellphones and tablet computers. Facebook didn’t start showing advertisements on its mobile applications until last spring. In the first quarter of this year, the mobile category accounted for 30 percent of total ad revenue.

More in Herald Business Journal

Health-care consumers need to take the lead, so get smart

David Russian, CEO of Western Washington Medical Group, writes our third essay about fixing health care.

More business, more competition for Everett kidney dialysis center

Nonprofit Puget Sound Kidney Centers sees large for-profit competitors enter state market.

Molina Medical holds fall carnival for families in Everett

Molina Medical is hosting a free event for families in the Everett… Continue reading

Leadership Snohomish County celebrates 20 years of service

Leadership Snohomish County is celebrating its 20th anniversary. The organization was launched… Continue reading

Snohomish, Monroe manufacturers honored for innovation, excellence

Two Snohomish County companies have been honored with Manufacturing Excellence awards at… Continue reading

Remodeled home tours planned this weekend

This weekend, Edmonds-based Chermak Construction will participate in the 2017 Remodeled Homes… Continue reading

Barron Heating to celebrate anniversary at Marysville showroom

Barron Heating and Air Conditioning is celebrating its 45th anniversary from 10… Continue reading

Robots on Wall Street: Slow-footed regulators lose ground

Watchdogs have to figure out how to check computers running lightening-fast algorithms.

US budget deficit hits $666B, an $80B spike for the year

The deficit issue has largely fallen in prominence in Washington in recent years.

Most Read