Facebook 4Q Results: Earnings Beat Estimates, Revenue Jumps 40%

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By David Zielenziger | January 31, 2013 8:32 AM EST

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), the No. 1 social networking website, reporting its first fourth-quarter results as a public company, exceeded analyst expectations as revenue jumped 40 percent and its users rose to 1.06 billion members.

Still, the Menlo Park, Calif.-based company indicated its rapid growth is slowing, although it’s making inroads into mobile platforms, which now account for 23 percent of revenue.

Facebook said fourth-quarter net income fell to $64 million, or 3 cents a share, from $302 million, or 14 cents a year earlier. But earnings from operations were 17 cents a share, 2 cents ahead of the estimates of 35 analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters.

Meanwhile, Facebook’s fourth-quarter revenue rose 40 percent to $1.59 billion from $1.13 billion a year earlier. Full-year net income was $53 million, or a penny a share, compared with $1 billion, or 46 cents a share, a year earlier.

“We enter 2013 good momentum and will continue to invest in our mission and become a stronger, more valuable company,” said CEO Mark Zuckerberg, 28, who controls about 56 percent of the company outright.

CFO David Ebersman is  scheduled to talk with investment analysts later on Wednesday.

Shares of Facebook rose 45 cents to close at $31.24 on Wednesday. They fell about 5 percent after the results were announced.

They are off 18 percent from their IPO price of $38 set on May 17 but traded as low as $17.55 in early September.

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