Facebook's latest quarterly results showed continued strength in mobile advertising, which spurred a 60 per cent revenue increase in the July-September quarter.
The numbers beat Wall Street's expectations for the second consecutive quarter, but after an initial after-hours trading spike, Facebook's stock took a downturn during the company's conference call with analysts.
Investors may have been spooked by a remark by Facebook finance chief David Ebersman, who said the company saw a decrease in daily use among younger teenagers, an important but fickle demographic.
After soaring as much as 18 per cent to $57.98 after the quarterly results came out, shares of Menlo Park, Calif.-based Facebook slid to $48.44 in extended trading during the company's conference call. The stock had closed Wednesday's regular trading day down 39 cents at $49.01.
The stock's fluctuations overshadowed a stellar quarter. The world's largest social network said Wednesday that it earned $425 million, or 17 cents per share, in the third quarter. That's up from a loss of $59 million, or 2 cents per share, in the same period a year ago.
Adjusted earnings were $621 million, or 25 cents per share, in the latest quarter. That's 6 cents better than analysts expected. This figure excludes special items, mainly stock compensation expenses.
Revenue grew 60 per cent to $2.02 billion from $1.26 billion, helped by increasing mobile advertising revenue.
Analysts, on average, were expecting revenue of $1.91 billion, according to FactSet.
"The strong results we achieved this quarter show that we're prepared for the next phase of our company, as we work to bring the next five billion people online and into the knowledge economy," CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a statement.
Facebook's advertising revenue was $1.8 billion, up 66 per cent from a year ago. Mobile ads accounted for 49 per cent of the company's total ad revenue during the quarter. In the second quarter, mobile ads amounted to 41 per cent of the total. The increase shows Facebook's strategy to become a "mobile-first" company is paying off.
At the same time, Facebook is growing its share of the mobile advertising market. Research firm eMarketer estimates that Facebook will grab 15.8 per cent