Facebook 2Q results soar as user base, mobile ads grow

Facebook reported that 1.31 billion people visited the social media giant from a mobile device at least once a month, on average, during the last quarter.

Facebook surpassed expectations on all fronts in the second quarter, growing not just profit and revenue but its already-massive user base, mobile advertising and usage of its “family” of non-Facebook apps like Instagram and WhatsApp.

Even so, its stock price slid after the results came out, as some investors may have been waiting for even better results, or looking to cash in on some profits as Facebook’s shares have been trading near-record highs. Spending also soared in the April-June period, as Facebook had promised it would.

The world’s largest online social network said Wednesday that it had 1.31 billion people visiting from a mobile device at least once a month, on average, during the quarter. That was up 23 percent from a year earlier. Facebook had 1.49 billion monthly users overall, up 13 percent. Facebook also had 968 million daily active users overall and 844 million on mobile devices.

“Once again Facebook has proven its ability to attract and retain users. It’s particularly impressive that users are more engaged than ever before — that the percentage of monthly users who visit every day continues to grow,” said Forrester Research analyst Nate Elliott.

That’s in contrast to Twitter, which continues to worry investors with stalling user growth and on Wednesday saw its stock price drop to its lowest level in more than a year.

Facebook’s mobile advertising represented 76 percent of the total advertising revenue during the second quarter, proof that the company continues to attract advertisers to where its users are — on smartphones and other hand-held gadgets. That’s up from 62 percent a year earlier.

While still far behind No. 1 Google Inc., Facebook has been steadily growing its share of the worldwide digital advertising market. Its share was 7.9 percent in 2014, up from 5.8 percent a year earlier, according to research firm eMarketer. By the end of this year, eMarketer expects Facebook’s share to surpass 9 percent of the $171 billion market. Google, meanwhile, is expected to hold on to its top post with about 31 percent of the market, down slightly from last year.

In all, Menlo Park, Calif.-based Facebook Inc.’s second-quarter net income was $715 million, or 25 cents per share. That’s down from $788 million, or 30 cents per share, a year earlier. Excluding special expenses such as stock compensation costs, Facebook earned 50 cents per share in the latest quarter, surpassing analysts’ expectations of 47 cents, as polled by Zacks Investment Research.

Expenses rose 82 percent to $2.77 billion.

Revenue jumped 39 percent to $4.04 billion.