Facebook shares are spiking today, and were up as much as 13 percent after the company reported its fourth-quarter earnings.
The culprit? Once again, the company completely crushed expectations for its operating quarter. Facebook brought in $5.841 billion in revenue and earnings of 79 cents per share, compared to earnings of 68 cents per share and $5.37 billion in revenue.
Facebook also revealed a slew of new strong stats, and said that users are watching 100 million hours of video every single day. Eighty percent of the company’s advertising business now comes from mobile devices. Part of the reason for the quarter’s success was that the company did a much better job of monetizing its international markets, which it’s somewhat struggled with historically.
A good stock price does a number of things for a company, but one key element is keeping morale high and helping Facebook attract new talent.
Facebook is competing with the largest technology companies in the world, holding itself at a more than $200 billion market cap. A good stock price at least helps keep that new talent flowing in as Facebook looks to continue iterating its products and bring the rest of the world online.
Like Apple, Facebook’s CFO mentioned that there was some impact from foreign exchange rates — an issue companies are seeing broadly these days — but it seems that Facebook was at least partially immune to broad-based macroeconomic weakness.
So all this is pretty good news for Facebook. While many other technology companies like Square, Twitter and even Apple are falling, Facebook came out the gate swinging and was promptly rewarded by investors, who are increasingly looking for monetary progress instead of simple growth.
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In fact, Facebook’s user base didn’t actually grow that much, but its monetization engine continues to improve, and it has started multiple efforts to get the rest of the world online to greater expand the base of users it can inevitably monetize. While other companies are trying to focus on growth and figure out the monetization engine later, Facebook’s focus has to be improving its advertising products — which it appears to be succeeding in thus far.