Live Wrap: Will Facebook’s Fourth-Quarter Results Keep the Bears Away?

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) was on a tear heading into its fourth-quarter and full-year 2012 earnings. Shares have climbed over 60 percent since the middle of November, and closed January 30 at $31.24. The market’s initial reaction to the earnings report was negative, but a 7 percent initial drop simmered away just 40 minutes after the release.

Here are the key fourth-quarter highlights from the report:

  • Revenue increases 40.1 percent to $1.58 billion, ahead of estimates for $1.53 billion.
  • EPS increases 13.3 percent to $0.17, ahead of estimates for $0.15.
  • Monthly Active Users increase 25 percent to 1.06 billion. Daily active users increase 28 percent to 618 million. Mobile MAUs increase 57 percent to 680 million. Mobile revenue increases 9 points to 23 percent of total ad revenue.
  • Operating costs climb 67 percent to $849 million. Margins shrink from 48 to 33 percent.
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From the earnings call:

(7:12 p.m.) Shares conclude the after-hours session down 3.52 percent.

(6:02 p.m.) Zuckerberg: Our relationship with Google is one where the company’s don’t really talk. Good thing the Android platform is open! Zuckerberg suggests that integrating with iOS requires working directly with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), where integrating with Android just requires using the platform.

(6:00 p.m.) Nothing to share on FBX mobile at this point.

Question: When will Gifts become a significant part of the revenue gifts?

Answer: We’re not sure yet. We’re still figuring it out.

(5:55 p.m.) Asked about whether or not there’s an opportunity to add inventory to the mobile ad experience.

“On the mobile side, it’s important to recognize that it’s still really early.” Facebook suggests that it is still trying to figure out what’s going on, i.e. “opportunity.”

(5:50 p.m.) Average revenue per user climbs 34 percent from 2010 to 2012, from $3.97 to $5.32. For 2012, ARPU is $13.58 in the U.S. and Canada, $5.91 in Europe, $2.35 in Asia, and $1.84 in the rest of the world.

(5:47 p.m.) U.S. and Canada accounts for 47.4 percent of total ad revenue, Europe accounts for 28.1 percent, Asia accounts for 12.6 percent, and “the rest of the world” accounts for 11.7 percent.

(5:45 p.m.) Between Q4 2010 and Q4 2012, advertising revenue grew 75 percent in the U.S. and Canada, 86 percent in Europe, 216 percent in Asia, and 280 percent in “the rest of the world.”