Facebook Inc (FB) Tops Earnings Estimates

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Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) released its fourth quarter earnings report after closing bell tonight, posting adjusted earnings of 79 cents per share and $5.84 billion in revenue. Analysts were expecting 68 cents per share in earnings and $5.37 billion in revenue.

Facebook (FB) returns strong results

The social network has beat estimates in each of the last five quarters, according to Zacks. In the fourth quarter of 2014, Facebook reported 54 cents per share in earnings compared to the estimate of 49 cents. The revenue results also beat estimates over the last five quarters, although by smaller margins. In the fourth quarter of 2014, Facebook posted $3.85 billion in revenue, beating the consensus of $3.79 billion.

GAAP earnings were 54 cents per share, compared to the previous year’s 25 cents. Ad revenue was $5.64 billion, while mobile ad revenue made up about 80% of total ad revenue, compared to 69% in the previous year’s fourth quarter. Analysts were expecting approximately $5.068 billion in ad revenue with mobile revenue making up approximately 78% of total ad revenue. In the year-ago quarter, ad revenue was $4.3 billion.

Facebook’s (FB) user base continues to grow

Facebook ended the quarter with 1.59 billion monthly active users, coming out slightly ahead of the 1.58 billion consensus with a 14% year over year increase. Of that number, 1.44 billion were mobile users, marking a 21% year over year increase. Daily active users averaged 934 million for December, marking a 25% year over year increase.

The social network had 1.55 billion total monthly active users at the end of the third quarter, although Wall Street had been expecting to see a deceleration in user growth in the fourth quarter, ending the quarter with 1.58 billion users. In the previous year’s quarter, the growth rate was 3.6%. The number of daily active users passed 1 billion in the third quarter, and for the fourth quarter, Facebook was expected to report about 1.03 billion.

Capital expenditures for the quarter amounted to $692 million.

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) shares surged in after-hours trading, climbing by as much as 5.31% to $99.47 per share.

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