Traditional media companies’ best frenemy turned in a vigorous performance in the last three months of 2014 –including in all-important mobile ad sales. Facebook generated $701 million in net income, +34% vs the period last year, on revenues of $3.85 billion, +49%. The revenue number beat forecasts for $3.77 billion. And earnings at 54 cents a share were well ahead of the consensus estimate for 48 cents.
“We got a lot done in 2014,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg says. “Our community continues to grow and we’re making progress towards connecting the world.” Facebook attracts more than 3 billion video views a day, he told analysts in a conference call.
Investors want to be sure that Facebook can continue to sell ads on smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices, all high-growth businesses. It delivered in Q4: Mobile accounted for 69% of ad sales, up from 53% at the end of 2013. The company sold $3.59 billion in ads, a 53% increase that would have been up 58% if the U.S. dollar hadn’t strengthened so much vs other currencies.
The company also reported that the number of monthly average users at the end of 2014 had increased 13% to 1.39 billion. Mobile monthly users were up 26% to 1.19 billion.
The Q4 report is silent about new initiatives in video, including its acquisition in virtual reality company Oculus.