Facebook’s Profit Triples, Outpacing Forecasts and Its Peers
SAN FRANCISCO — For most tech companies this financial earnings season, it has become a game of survival of the fittest. By that score,Facebook may outlast the others.
On Wednesday, the social network said sales in the first quarter rose 52 percent from a year ago to $5.3 billion, while profit increased to $1.5 billion, tripling from $512 million a year ago. Excluding certain items, Facebook’s profit was 77 cents a share, far surpassing Wall Street expectations of 62 cents a share.
Facebook also announced a new class of nonvoting stock, called Class C shares, which the company said was aimed at ensuring that Mark Zuckerberg, the chief executive, would remain in “an active leadership role.”
“We’re focused on our 10-year road map to give everyone in the world the power to share anything they want with anyone,” Mr. Zuckerberg said in a statement.
The results were a far cry from the disappointing numbers posted in the past 10 days by Facebook peers like Twitter, whose advertising business showed signs of stumbling on Tuesday, or Alphabet, the parent company of Google, which missed analysts’ estimates for revenue last week.
Other tech companies have also recently reported a string of weaker-than-expected results, including Microsoft and Apple. And some of the companies are having to cut deep; last week, Intel said it planned to eliminate 12,000 jobs to deal with the downturn in demand for personal computers.
Facebook, in contrast, has figured out how to wring billions of dollars from its members on mobile devices and other platforms, making the company’s revenue-generation machine unstoppable. The company said 82 percent of its advertising revenue came from mobile devices in the first quarter.
And while the growth in new users on Facebook has slowed in recent years, the total is still getting larger. Facebook said 1.65 billion people visited the site on a monthly basis, up from 1.44 billion a year earlier. More than 1.5 billion people are monthly mobile-only users, up from 1.25 billion a year ago.
Shares of Facebook surged more than 6 percent in after-hours trading.