Facebook has shared its fourth quarter results for 2012 along with its full-year earnings results. The report, which boasts highlights such as a greater move to capture the mobile market, the launch of Graph Search, and the release of Facebook for Android 2.0, also painted a picture of a company that has maintained profitability but is still struggling to earn the confidence of investors.
Revenue was listed at more than $1.58 billion for Q4, an increase from the $1.13 billion achieved in that same quarter during fiscal year 2011. Revenue for the entire fiscal year was more than $5 billion, again an increase from the $3.7 billion listed for 2011. However, along with the increasing stream of revenue that resulted from Facebook’s more aggressive move into advertising, net income and operating costs also saw changes. Net income for Q4 2012 was $64 million, down $238 million from the same quarter in 2011. In addition, costs and expenses increased by 82 percent from Q4 in 2011 to $1.06 billion.
But perhaps what is most telling about the state of Facebook are the stock prices. Since the much anticipated IPO on May 18, 2012, share prices have experienced a roller coaster of change, starting at $38 per share, dropping as low as $17.73 per share, and then rising back to $28. It is uncertain where shares will rest at the one-year anniversary of the IPO, as trends over the past months indicate that prices have not yet stabilized.
What can be said is that 2013 will be a telling year for Facebook. According to an article in Forbes, nearly 13 percent of all global Internet traffic is from mobile devices. The same article lists smartphone use as growing by 42 percent each year. With such leaps and bounds in mobile adoption, Facebook may have poised themselves to capture this increasing base of users and the advertising dollars that come along with it. In addition, Graph Search may reveal itself to be successful in keeping more users in Facebook. In addition, Facebook has also worked to evolve alongside the changing face of social media through the acquisition of companies such as Instagram and a partnership with Bing.
Just days after the Facebook IPO, critics and users alike lambasted founder Mark Zuckerberg, even suggesting that the underwhelming IPO was evidence that social media will only be a passing fad. Some even went so far as to suggest that Zuckerberg might be better off staying on his honeymoon in Italy. But with an active monthly user base of 1.06 billion and growing, opportunities abound for Zuckerberg and the social media giant. The acquisition And with Facebook’s growth continuing worldwide and mobile phone usage skyrocketing, it was probably a bit premature to tell Zuckerberg to stay in Rome.