Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) released the earnings results from its first quarter, posting earnings of 34 cents a share, excluding items, on revenue of $2.5 billion—a 72% increase year over year—for the March quarter. Analysts had been expecting the social network to post first quarter earnings of 24 cents per share—a 183% increase—on $2.34 billion in revenue. GAAP earnings per share were 25 cents, compared to 9 cents in the same quarter a year ago.
“Facebook’s business is strong and growing, and this quarter was a great start to 2014,” said Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) founder and CEO, in a statement. “We’ve made some long term bets on the future while staying focused on executing and improving our core products and business. We’re in great position to continue making progress towards our mission.”
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Breaking down Facebook’s results
Investors have been hoping for continued growth in mobile advertising, and the company certainly delivered. Advertising revenue rose 82% to $2.27 billion. Mobile advertising revenue rose from 30% to 59% of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s total revenue. Revenues from payments and other fees was $237 million.
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) reported that monthly active users rose 15% to 1.28 billion during the quarter. Daily active users were 802 million, a 21% increase. Mobile daily active users rose 42% to 609 million, while mobile monthly active users rose 34% to 1.01 billion.
CFO Ebersman to step down
The social network also announced that Chief Financial Officer David Ebersman will step down this year and that David Wehner will succeed him on June 1.
“This has been a tough decision because Facebook is such a great company and has such a bright future ahead, but I’ve decided to move back into healthcare where I spent my career before Facebook,” Ebersman said in a statement. “It’s been a privilege working at Facebook and being part of such a great team. We have an incredibly talented finance organization, and I have complete confidence in Dave Wehner and his ability to lead the team going forward.”
Also today, the FTC approved Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s bid to buy virtual reality headset maker Oculus VR. Recently the social network’s other acquisition, WhatsApp, revealed that it hit 500 million active users, which is a major milestone and seen as a positive for Facebook as the social network looks for more streams of revenue.