Facebook’s Q3: Some losses, mobile is going to be big

Facebook IPO

Facebook IPO

The world’s largest social network, Facebook, released its third quarterly earnings for 2012 revealing that despite its stock’s plummeting trajectory, the company isn’t doing badly at all. It showed a 32% rise in sales to US$1.26-billion compared to last year’s US$950-million.

The company’s young founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg is quite intent on making a big splash on mobile. “I want to dispel this myth that Facebook can’t make money on mobile. We are just getting started,” he said during the earnings call.

The Menlo Park-based company seems to be well on its way to doing just that. It reported US$150-million profits from mobile advertising, which made up 14% of its total ad revenue in the third quarter. That is nearly what it made from payments (US$176-million), which shows impressive growth considering the company has only been in the mobile ad space for six months.

Its new native iOS app has reportedly translated into an 80% increase in news feed loads and a 20% increase in engagement. Mobile check-ins are also on the rise as Facebook users checking in from their mobile devices grew from 543-million in June 2012 to 604-million in September 2012.

The earnings report not only saw the company’s stock rise nearly 10% but slightly surpassed industry expectation.

“As proud as I am that a billion people use Facebook each month, I’m also really happy that over 600-million people now share and connect on Facebook every month using mobile devices,” said Zuckerberg.

“People who use our mobile products are more engaged, and we believe we can increase engagement even further as we continue to introduce new products and improve our platform. At the same time, we are deeply integrating monetization into our product teams in order to build a stronger, more valuable company.”

Though the reported growth is impressive, Facebook also reported a net loss of US$59-million in its third quarter, compared with net income of US$227-million a year ago. Since filing the biggest IPO in internet history, the company has lost more than US$40-billion in market value.

Analyst Arvind Bhatia, told Bloomberg that only five percent of Facebook’s ad sales would come from mobile. “They still have a long way to go to prove that this is sustainable — they can keep going in this direction, but what it shows is that things can move relatively quickly,” he said.

Some highlights from the release:

Third Quarter 2012 Operational Highlights

  • Monthly active users (MAUs) were 1.01 billion as of September 30, 2012, an increase of 26% year-over-year
  • Daily active users (DAUs) were 584 million on average for September 2012, an increase of 28% year-over-year
  • Mobile MAUs were 604 million as of September 30, 2012, an increase of 61% year-over-year



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