Facebook makes money, tops 300 million users

Wed Sep 16, 2009 10:40am EDT
 
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Facebook spokesperson Larry Yu said the free cash flow metric does not include any cash from private investment.

In May, Facebook announced a $200 million investment from Russian investment firm Digital Sky Technologies in a deal that valued the company's preferred shares at $10 billion.

DST valued Facebook's common shares at $6.5 billion in a subsequent deal to purchase shares from Facebook employees.

Facebook's becoming cash flow positive ahead of schedule provides another nugget of data to back up the lofty valuations, and according to one analyst, makes Facebook a more attractive candidate for a potential public offering.

"They can command higher confidence from investors now," said Collins Stewart analyst Sandeep Aggarwal, who noted that he believes Facebook could go public in the second half of 2010, or in 2011.

Zuckerberg said in May that any IPO is "a few years out."

Facebook did not provide any other financial details on Tuesday. The company has previously said its revenue was on track to grow 70 percent this year.

Facebook board member Mark Andreesen told Reuters earlier this year that the company will surpass $500 million in revenue this year.

Zuckerberg said in his post that the company is exploring ways to make the service perform faster and more efficiently as the number of Facebook users continues to grow.

(Reporting by Alexei Oreskovic; Editing by Gary Hill, Richard Chang and Bernard Orr)

 
<p>Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, delivers a keynote address at the company's annual conference in San Francisco, California July 23, 2008 file photo. REUTERS/Kimberly White</p>