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

Wed Nov 4, 2015 8:16pm EST
 
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By Yasmeen Abutaleb and Lehar Maan

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Facebook Inc posted surprisingly strong profit and revenue growth as the world's largest social network grew even larger, with a spike in mobile users and advertising that lifted its stock to an all-time high.

The company on Wednesday reported audience numbers that suggest it is poised to take on mainstream media as an advertising force, helping investors to overlook Facebook's huge spending on hiring and building data centers.

Facebook now has 8 billion video views per day from 500 million people, compared with 4 billion views in April.

And Facebook's website and Instagram photo-sharing app, which opened up its platform to all advertisers in the third quarter, account for more than 1 in 5 minutes spent on mobile devices in the United States, Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said.

"In the medium to long run, we believe that we're not competing between Facebook and Instagram. We're competing with other forms of media," Sandberg told analysts on a conference call after the earnings report.

Facebook had 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," Sandberg said 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