Facebook Adds Users, Tops 4Q Views


Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) topped Wall Street expectations for the fourth quarter, as the social media company lifted mobile ad revenue and added more users.

The social media company on Wednesday reported net income of $701 million, a 34% increase over the year-ago period’s $523 million.  Per-share earnings came in at 25 cents versus 20 cents.

Excluding one-time items, Facebook booked adjusted earnings of 54 cents a share, compared to 32 cents a share last year. Analysts were looking for a smaller adjusted profit of 48 cents a share.

Revenue soared 49% to $3.85 billion, surpassing the consensus estimate of $3.77 billion.

Shares ticked 16 cents lower to $76.08 in after-hours trading.

Facebook, which acquired messaging app WhatsApp for $19 billion last year, said it had 1.39 billion monthly active users as of Dec. 31, 2014. That reflects a 13% gain.

Facebook considers daily active users to be the most engaged. In December, daily active users rose 18% to 890 million on average.

For Facebook’s mobile services, daily and monthly active users were up 34% and 25%, respectively.

Mobile advertising represented about 69% of Facebook’s fourth-quarter ad revenue. A year earlier, ads on mobile devices accounted for 53%.

Costs and expenses in the final three months of 2014 totaled $2.72 billion, up 87% year-over-year. Facebook’s operating margin shrank to 29% from 44%. On an adjusted basis, its margin held steady at 58%.

Rival social media website Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) is scheduled to report earnings next week.