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Facebook beats expectations, aided by mobile advertising

FacebookMobile advertising helped social network site Facebook report better than expected figures that showed it was performing more strongly than its critics believe.

This was the seventh straight quarter that Facebook topped estimates with fourth-quarter revenue of $3.85 billion, an increase of 49% from $2.59bn in the fourth quarter of 2013. Analysts had expected revenue of $3.77bn.

Facebook earned $701 million in the fourth quarter, against $523m in the same period a year ago. Adjusted earnings were 54 cents per share. Analysts had expected 49 cents a share. Advertising revenue soared 53% to $3.59bn.

Mobile ad revenue accounted for 69% of Facebook’s total advertising revenue in the quarter. This is regarded as a key indicator as most users access the site via phones.

Facebook’s user base also continued to grow. The company said it had 1.39 billion monthly active users at the end of the year, up 13% from a year ago.

Revenue for 2014 was $12.47bn, up by a staggering 58% on the previous year.

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