Facebook's mobile ad revenue doubles in fourth quarter

Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:43pm EST
 
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By Alexei Oreskovic

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Facebook Inc doubled its mobile advertising from the previous quarter as the world's No. 1 social network expanded its business aggressively onto handheld devices.

But the growth trailed some of Wall Street's most aggressive estimates. Extending its reach on mobile devices is crucial as more and more of its 1 billion-plus users begin to access its network via smartphones and tablets.

The company's overall advertising business grew at its fastest clip since before its May initial public offering, helping the company's revenue expand 40 percent and surpass Wall Street targets.

Shares of Facebook were flat at $31.24 in after hours trading on Wednesday, regaining ground after falling more than 8 percent immediately after the numbers were released.

"Overall solid quarter but maybe high expectations going into the quarter," said Aaron Kessler, an analyst with Raymond James.

Facebook said its mobile business accounted for 23 percent of total ad revenue, compared to 14 percent in the third quarter.

Some investors may have been expecting more from the mobile business.

"Mobile revenue was expected to be a little higher," said Kessler, who said he was looking for mobile revenue to be 25 percent of total ad revenue.   Continued...

 
The Facebook logo is pictured at the Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, California January 29, 2013. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith