Facebook reports strong Q4 as mobile ad sales keep growing

Overall revenue rose by nearly 50 percent, beating Wall Street's expectations

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg watches a demonstration of the company's new video chat feature on Wednesday at Facebook headquarters.

Credit: Stephen Lawson/IDG News Service

Facebook continues to reap big rewards from ads placed on people's smartphones, which now generate more than two-thirds of its revenue.

Roughly 69 percent of Facebook's revenue for the quarter ended Dec. 31 came from mobile advertising, the company said Wednesday.

Total revenue for the quarter was $3.85 billion. That was up 49 percent from a year earlier and beat the consensus estimate of $3.77 billion from analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.

A year ago, mobile ads accounted for just over a half of Facebook's revenue. But as more people access the service on mobile devices, ads there have proliferated.

"We got a lot done in 2014. Our community continues to grow and we're making progress towards connecting the world," CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a statement.

Net income for the quarter was $701 million, a 34 percent increase from a year earlier, while earnings per share came in at $0.25, up 5 cents.

On a pro forma basis, earnings per share was $0.54, beating analyst estimates of $0.48.

The company also reported a decent increase in its number of users, though the increase was greater for mobile devices. As of Dec. 31, Facebook's monthly active users -- people who log in at least once a month -- were 1.39 billion, up 13 percent. But Facebook's mobile monthly active users rose by 26 percent, to 1.19 billion.

However, Facebook's fourth quarter costs jumped by 87 percent to $2.72 billion.

Revenue for the full year was $12.47 billion, Facebook said, up nearly 60 percent from 2013.

Shares of Facebook stock were trading at around $74.54 in the after market hours, down by more than 2 percent.

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