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Facebook's Mobile Future Is Now

By: Chris Ciaccia
Posted: 5/2/2013 10:00:00 AM
Referenced Stocks: FB

Facebook's (FB) first-quarter earnings report demonstrated that the company's mobile initiatives of 2011 and 2012 are paying off, and the future for Facebook is as a mobile company.

Facebook earned 12 cents per share on $1.458 billion, up 38% year-over-year. Mobile ad revenue accounted for 30% of total ad revenue ($1.245 billion), up from 23% in the last quarter of 2012. Mobile is increasingly becoming a huge part of the social networking giant, and nearly every product launch, including Facebook Home, is mobile-centric.

On the earnings call, COO Sheryl Sandberg noted the strength in mobile ads, particularly in Asia. "As an example, our mobile app install adds performed very well this quarter," Sandberg said on the call. It's clear Facebook's future is as a mobile company, as the company reaches out to developers to continue expanding downloads of their mobile apps, and advertisers increasingly realize that Facebook's audience are using their smartphones and tablets more. CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said in the past that people look at their smartphones 100 times a day, and Facebook is the number-one most visited app.

Mobile users have now surpassed desktop users, with 751 million monthly active users (MAUs) around the world accessing Facebook from a mobile device, up 54% year-over-year. This compares to 665 million accessing Facebook on desktop, and 1.1 billion total daily active users.

Yes, it's true that operating expenses are high, but Facebook is clearly investing in its future. Products such as Home, Graph Search, an updated News Feed and others cost time and money to develop. Ebersman will help keep costs in-line with other high-growth tech companies.

Facebook has come a long way from being a social network for college kids. It's now a legitimate business, with revenues growing nearly 40%+ per annum. Mobile is where the company's present and future lie, and as long as Zuckerberg and team continue to deliver results, the share price won't be far behind.