Facebook profit jumps as user base nears 2 billion


Facebook on Wednesday reported its quarterly profit jumped just over $3 billion as its ranks of monthly users closed in on two billion.

The leading social network said it made a profit of $3.06 billion on $8.03 billion in revenue in the first three months of this year, posting increases of 76 percent and 49 percent, respectively, compared to the same period last year.

Meanwhile, the number of people using Facebook monthly increased 17 percent to 1.94 billion, according to the earnings report.

The number of people using Facebook monthly increased 17 percent to 1.94 billion, according to the earnings report

The number of people using Facebook monthly increased 17 percent to 1.94 billion, according to the earnings report

The number of people using Facebook monthly increased 17 percent to 1.94 billion, according to the earnings report

‘We had a good start to 2017,’ Facebook co-founder and chief Mark Zuckerberg said in the release.

‘We’re continuing to build tools to support a strong global community.’

Facebook bested high expectations for revenue but fell short on profit.

Shares fell about a percent to $150.25 in after-market trades that followed release of the earnings figures.

Analysts on average had expected total ad revenue of $7.68 billion, according to FactSet.

The social media giant is expected to generate $31.94 billion in mobile ad revenue globally in 2017, up 42.1 percent from a year earlier, according to research firm eMarketer.

FACEBOOK’S SHARE PRICE 

Facebook shares have climbed 32 percent since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index has climbed almost 7 percent. 

In the final minutes of trading on Wednesday, shares hit $151.80, a climb of 29 percent in the last 12 months. 

However, shares fell about a percent to $150.25 in after-market trades that followed release of the earnings figures. 

That would give Facebook a 22.6 percent share of the worldwide mobile ad market, with arch-rival Google projected to be the leader with a 35.1 percent share, according to eMarketer.

Facebook has been updating its offerings and launching new features to keep users hooked.

Earlier in the day, the company said it would add 3,000 people over the next year to monitor reports of inappropriate material on its network and removing videos such as murders and suicides.

The move comes after videos of a fatal shooting in Cleveland and of a father in Thailand killing his daughter on Facebook Live were uploaded on the network, drawing widespread criticism.

Net income attributable to Facebook shareholders rose to $3.06 billion, or $1.04 per share, in the first quarter from $1.73 billion, or 60 cents per share, a year earlier. 

Total revenue rose to $8.03 billion from $5.38 billion.

Facebook said it would no longer report non-GAAP expenses, income, tax rate, and earnings per share.

Facebook is also stepping up efforts to combat fake news, which emerged as a major issue in last year’s U.S. presidential election.

Apart from the core Facebook network, which contributes a lion’s share to the overall revenue, the company’s photo-sharing app Instagram and messaging service Whatsapp also have a huge user base.

Facebook is the last of the top five U.S. tech companies to report quarterly earnings.



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