Facebook is stronger than ever

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Mark Zuckerberg proves once again why he is the undoubted titan of the tech industry. Beating all expectations and analysis, the company reported new record highs in both the fourth quarter and 2015 as a whole.


The company has reported profits of 79 cents per share on $5.8 billion in revenue for fourth quarter. The results easily beat the analyst estimates of 68 cents per share on revenue of $5.37 billion.The company's shares rose 9.5 percent in after-hours trading on Wednesday to $118.39, setting it on track to open at a new high today, at nearly triple its initial public offering four years ago.

"2015 was a great year for Facebook. Our community continued to grow and our business is thriving," Facebook founder and CEO, Mark Zukerberg said in the company's earnings release statement.

Facebook’s fourth-quarter EPS rose 46 percent from 54 cents a year ago, and its revenue stood 52 percent higher than the $3.85 billion it recorded in the same period last year. In total for the full year 2015, Facebook said its revenue came in at $17.93 billion, an increase of 44 percent year-over-year.


Most of that growth is attributable to Facebook's $5.2 billion in advertising revenue, a 57 percent increase year-over-year and easily in excessive of Wall Street's consensus estimate of $5.02 billion.

Mobile advertising accounted for about 82 percent of total ad revenue in the quarter, Facebook said, noting that's an increase from 73 percent during the same period last year. According to COO Sheryl Sandberg, there are more than 3 million businesses actively using Facebook's advertising products, and more than 200,000 utilizing Instagram.

Social networking giant also said it was proposing the creation of new class C shares. If the proposal is approved, shareholders would get two C shares for each class A or class B share they own. This would potentially allow Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg who wants to give away 99 percent of his wealth, to sell non-voting stock to fund philanthropy without relinquishing control of the social media juggernaut he founded.


1.65 billion People used Facebook monthly as of March 31, up from 1.44 billion a year earlier. Zuckerberg said users were spending more than 50 minutes per day on Facebook, Instagram and Messenger, a huge amount of time given the millions of apps available to users.

The company isn’t likely to rest on its forte and it continues to delve into newer opportunities. Facebook held its annual F8 global developer conference earlier this month, discussing a slew of initiatives including its work on artificial intelligence and virtual reality. The most widely heralded announcement of the event, however, was Facebook's push for chatbots on its platforms.

Chatbots — interactive, responsive messaging programs — could allow users to communicate with brands and companies through Facebook. If successful, such a development would effectively leapfrog the currently dominant mobile app economy and allow the company to create its own thriving digital ecosystem.

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