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Facebook posts 3Q loss, revenue jumps

Tue, 10/23/2012 - 4:59pm
BARBARA ORTUTAY - AP Technology Writer - Associated Press

Facebook's third-quarter results inched past Wall Street's expectations, offering evidence that the company is making inroads in mobile advertising — a longtime concern among investors.

The financial results, Facebook's second as a public company, sent its stock sharply higher in after-hours trading. The stock jumped $1.90, or 9.7 percent, to $21.40 after the announcement. Facebook had closed up 18 cents at $19.50 in regular trading on a day that saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average drop 243 points, or 1.8 percent.

The world's biggest social media company posted a loss of $59 million, or 2 cents per share, in the July-September period. That's down from earnings of $227 million, or 10 cents per share a year ago, when Facebook was still privately held.

Excluding special items, mainly related stock compensation expenses, Facebook Inc. earned $311 million, or 12 cents per share, in the latest quarter, a penny better than what analysts were expecting.

Revenue rose 32 percent to $1.26 billion from $954 million.

Analysts had expected earnings of 11 cents per share on revenue of $1.23 billion, according to FactSet.

The company said 604 million of its 1.01 billion users access Facebook using a mobile device.

"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," said CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a statement. "At the same time, we are deeply integrating monetization into our product teams in order to build a stronger, more valuable company."

Advertising revenue was $1.09 billion, up 36 percent from a year earlier. It represented about 86 percent of Facebook's total revenue.

Revenue from payments and other fees climbed 13 percent to $176 million. This figure includes Facebook's cut from the virtual items people buy for games they pay on the site.

Facebook said it generated 14 percent of its advertising revenue from mobile ads during the quarter. That amounts to about $152.6 million.

Chief Financial Officer David Ebersman said Facebook had a "solid performance" in the third quarter.

Facebook did not provide guidance for the current quarter or beyond, a practice it has maintained since its first earnings report as a public company in late July.

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