Facebook revenue, profit beat forecasts; shares hit all-time high

Wed Nov 4, 2015 5:16pm EST
 
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By Yasmeen Abutaleb and Lehar Maan

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Facebook Inc (FB.O: Quote) posted a surprisingly strong 40.5 percent jump in quarterly revenue as new advertising services and its mobile app boosted ad sales at the world's largest social network.

The stock rose about 5 percent to an all-time high of $109.34 in extended trading on Wednesday, before paring gains to about 2 percent. It closed earlier at $103.94.

Third-quarter profit also beat Wall Street's average estimate despite increased spending on Facebook's Messenger and WhatsApp apps and Oculus, its virtual reality business.

Ad revenue grew 45.4 percent to $4.30 billion, with mobile ads accounting for 78 percent of the total versus 66 percent in the same quarter last year.

"As it matures they continue to prove they can not only effectively monetize businesses and advertising partners but they have products and services that bring significant value to users," said Brian Blau, research director, personal technologies at research firm Gartner Inc.

Facebook continued to expand its reach, hitting 1.55 billion monthly active users as of Sept. 30, up 14 percent from a year earlier. Of these, 1.39 billion used the service on mobile devices.

"Growth is happening across the board and we're of course looking for a lot of growth in the future in emerging markets," Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg in an interview. "We're also pretty focused on helping bring the next set of people who are not online, online."

Market research firm FactSet StreetAccount had predicted 1.53 billion monthly active users, with 1.36 billion on mobile.   Continued...

 
A 3D plastic cut-out of the Facebook logo is seen in this illustration in Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina, May 13, 2015.  REUTERS/Dado Ruvic