Facebook delivered a mixed quarterly report on Wednesday. Thanks to stronger mobile ad sales, revenue climbed 40 percent. But income dropped 79 percent.
The Wall Street Journal’s Evelyn M. Rusli reported, “Facebook Inc. is making progress squeezing more money from advertisers on mobile devices—but not enough to shake the burden of Wall Street expectations. The world’s biggest social network on Wednesday posted a 40% fourth-quarter revenue jump to $1.59 billion and reported its strongest quarterly advertising growth for all of 2012, as it ramped up its mobile business and offered new tools to advertisers to better target consumers. Facebook’s profit fell 79%, weighed down by spending on new initiatives and charges related to employee stock. The results were roughly in line with Wall Street projections.”
Computerworld’s Zach Miners added, “The site’s monthly active users on mobile devices increased 57 percent year over year to 680 million; mobile daily active users also exceeded daily active users on the Web for the first time during the quarter, Facebook announced. Total monthly active users were 1.06 billion, up 25 percent from the year-earlier quarter.”
Reuters noted, “Shares of Facebook Inc fell as much as 8 percent on Thursday as a surge in fourth-quarter mobile advertising revenue failed to live up to Wall Street’s high expectations. Facebook has long established itself as one of the most popular websites with more than a billion users, but investors have worried that until the company’s mobile advertising strategy takes off, revenue growth will remain shaky. Three brokerages downgraded the stock, but most analysts said investor expectations were too high and Facebook’s mobile advertising business was a good long-term bet.”
Time’s Sam Gustin observed, “Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made it crystal clear Wednesday that the social networking juggernaut has a better working relationship with hardware giant Apple than it does with Web search leader Google. The 28-year-old billionaire said his company is working closely with Apple on applications for new mobile products. Google? Not so much. ‘Our relationship with Google isn’t one where the companies really talk,’ Zuckerberg told Wall Street analysts in a startling disclosure on the conference call following the company’s earnings report. By contrast, Zuckerberg spoke highly of his counterparts at Apple. ‘I’m really happy with the partnership we have with them,’ he said.”