Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg sitting pretty as shares soar after earnings blowout

Everybody all together now: You’re welcome, Mark Zuckerberg.

We’ve got some eye-popping numbers today after Facebook’s fourth-quarter results beat expectations Wednesday, including that Zuckerberg is now richer than the Koch brothers.

Also, the Menlo Park company’s market capitalization has jumped to almost $309 billion, surpassing Amazon.

BloombergBusiness pointed out that as of about an hour ago, Zuckerberg’s fortune was worth about $47.6 billion, compared with the Koch brothers’ $45.9 billion. That makes Zuckerberg the sixth-richest person in the world.

Facebook shares are trading at record highs today, up about 16 percent to nearly $110, as many analysts raised their price targets on the stock. With a market cap of $309 billion, it has become the fourth-most valuable tech company in the world, passing Amazon, USA Today notes. (Amazon, which is scheduled to report earnings today, is at almost $295 billion.)

What or who’s got Facebook sitting pretty? Its users, of course. As Queenie Wong reported Wednesday, the social network now has 1.59 million monthly active users, up 14 percent from the year-ago period. The company’s raking in the ad money, thanks especially to those of us who can’t stop checking Facebook on our phones. Mobile ad sales accounted for 80 percent of its ad sales; its total revenue for the quarter was $5.84 billion and its profit was $1.56 billion.

And if you haven’t gotten enough of numbers yet, here are some more:

  • If you’re a U.S. or Canadian user, you’re worth $13.54 each quarter to Facebook. (The Guardian has more.)
  • WhatsApp, the messaging app Facebook bought in 2014 for $19 billion when it had 450 million users, now has 900 million monthly active users, an increase of 200 million users from last year.
  • Messenger, Facebook’s homegrown messaging app, has 800 million monthly active users.
  • Instagram, the photo-sharing app Facebook bought for $1 billion in 2012, has 400 million monthly active users.

Despite all this, we did find at least one analyst who sounded a note of caution.

“We are much more cautious than management on the year ahead especially for the second half,” Richard Windsor, analyst at Edison Investment Research, said in a note this morning. “This is because Facebook is getting close to fully monetising the segments that it occupies in the Digital Life pie meaning that it needs to expand its coverage to keep growing.” Windsor noted that Facebook products such as Oculus and Facebook M will “take time to come to fruition.”

Photo from AFP/Getty Images

 

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