Seeking Alpha

Facebook's mobile ad sales trounce estimates again, shares +8.3% AH

  • Facebook's (FB) mobile ad sales jumped 41% Q/Q and roughly 4x Y/Y in seasonally strong Q4 to $1.24B, a figure that soundly beat many analyst forecasts. Mobile accounted for 53% of ad sales, up from 49% in Q3 and 23% a year ago.
  • Total ad sales rose 76% Y/Y (an acceleration from Q3's 66% clip) to $2.34B. Payments revenue (important for ZNGA) totaled $241M, up from $218M in Q3 and favorable to a year-ago level of $256M, given 4 months were counted last year.
  • Facebook ended Q4 with 1.23B monthly active users (MAUs), +3% Q/Q and +16% Y/Y. Mobile MAUs grew 8% Q/Q and 39% Y/Y to 945M (77% of total MAUs). Mobile-only MAUs (a lot of them are in emerging markets) rose 17% Q/Q and 89% Y/Y to 296M (24% of total MAUs).
  • Costs/expenses rose 37% Y/Y, a slowdown from Q3's 45% clip and well below revenue growth of 63%. R&D spend +37% to $408M, sales/marketing +51% to $292M.
  • Op. margin rose to an eye-popping 56% from 46% a year ago. Capex (often strong in Q4) was a hefty $483M, up from $284M in Q3.
  • CC at 5PM ET. Q4 results, PR, slides.
Comments (23)
  • Commentary from andypochta1 on this beat?
    29 Jan, 04:42 PM Reply Like
  • Fret not, LT. He'll be back before you have time to miss him!
    29 Jan, 09:59 PM Reply Like
  • i was long into this and I must say that I am happy right now.
    29 Jan, 04:47 PM Reply Like
  • As a long term investor all I can say is Yes! The bears have been pounding this stock for the past 3 months. They are smartly run and there revenues have not included Instagrams potential . Nice Job Zuck !
    29 Jan, 05:04 PM Reply Like
  • finally an big earnings announcement that goes super well. heavily long in FB so cannot be more thrilled. Hoping tomorrow's regular trading takes the stock well over $60. Operating margin 56%!!
    29 Jan, 05:05 PM Reply Like
  • I share your happiness, as I bought in heavy this afternoon at $53.50 before results came out and I think it can top $65 before profit-taking sets in, probably by next week. Also, TWTR got pulled up together with other tech stocks by this spectacular performance.
    29 Jan, 06:55 PM Reply Like
  • Seems like it's rising faster than I had anticipated. Almost $64 premarket at one point but momentarily consolidating around $63 to take up the slack from existing shareholders cashing in their chips rather than profit-taking from new-comers, whose enthusiasm seems unbridled. Anyway, I'm getting out after it tops $65 or maybe $66, depending on market opening reaction, which may take it to $70 before profit-taking sets in from yesterday's bump-up.
    30 Jan, 08:21 AM Reply Like
  • Very happy right now. Over $60 tomorrow? Thoughts?
    29 Jan, 05:06 PM Reply Like
  • Over 60 now!
    29 Jan, 08:02 PM Reply Like
  • More businesses are using FaceBook ads and it is a growing trend.


    Businesses get better focused advertising on FB, it is not the scatter gun approach like Adsense and others offer.


    I would double down on FB. Google just sold Moto and they are doing ANYTHING now to get clicks on ads. That is not great for businesses paying for the bogus clicks.
    29 Jan, 05:12 PM Reply Like
  • My prediction for tomorrow: a lot of profit taking. Stock will go down, presenting a good buying opportunity, and then will rally either later tomorrow or Friday.
    29 Jan, 05:23 PM Reply Like
  • A reasonable prediction, BTS. And, given a new plateau (60), the subsequent rallies will be from higher levels, of course.
    29 Jan, 09:44 PM Reply Like
  • On the one hand, I hope I'm wrong and that the company is finally given its due but on the other I hope I'm right so that I can pick up more shares at a better price.
    30 Jan, 09:12 AM Reply Like
  • teens dont use FB lol who cares they dont have money. Who buys birthday gift cards and reads the ads. We do the ones with the money simple and easy. Long
    29 Jan, 05:40 PM Reply Like
  • I can empathize with your exuberance here, Scotty, but today's teens DO have money--by proxy. Their parents buy them things.


    Whatever the case, teens will soon enough turn into adults, so who cares? I don't, and I'm happy with FB's performance.
    29 Jan, 09:47 PM Reply Like
  • I think its days are numbered, but its move to mobile at the right time was a good one.
    29 Jan, 05:54 PM Reply Like
  • Everything's days are numbered in one way or another. Why do you think $FB's days are especially numbered when it's accelerating on every metric?
    29 Jan, 06:51 PM Reply Like
  • All of our days are numbered.
    29 Jan, 09:48 PM Reply Like
  • I used to think that FB was over-hyped and it's days were numbered but as the results had shown, I was wrong. Well, it seems like Mark & his team had managed to grow the business into a multitude of opportunities, which augurs well for FB in the long-term. In fact, buying over Instagram was a very smart move, which enabled them to move out of their comfort zone, so now, we can celebrate their success with our own gains as well. I'm glad that I changed my mind about FB before the results today, as it was trending down all day, and being the gambler that I am, I bucked the trend and bought into FB again (left it behind some months ago) because every forecast was saying good things about it. That should stimulate the market for at least a week or two before the dust settles and we go back to what we were doing before.
    29 Jan, 07:07 PM Reply Like
  • BuyToSell , good prediction. Another prediction is that FB goes the way of how FEYE has been on the move these days?
    29 Jan, 07:28 PM Reply Like
  • longday, I don't think it will pull a FEYE for one simple reason: FEYE is a new IPO, so it has a relatively small number of shares in the market, which allows it to make HUGE moves on relatively small volume. In March some time, the lockup expires and the big corporate shareholders will be able to sell their shares, and then it will become a more 'normal' stock. In contrast, Facebook has a gigantic number of outstanding shares, because their lockup expired a long time ago, plus they added more shares during a secondary offering in December or whenever that was recently.


    I hope it does pull back because I would like to load up a little cheaper before it powers forward full-steam ahead.
    29 Jan, 08:18 PM Reply Like
  • buy buy buy so they can continue to sell shares
    29 Jan, 07:58 PM Reply Like
  • Teens, schmeeme.
    29 Jan, 08:00 PM Reply Like
DJIA (DIA) S&P 500 (SPY)