Facebook (FB) has had a mighty good run in 2014, rising 30% vs a roughly 7% gain for the broader S&P 500 Index.
And after Facebook earnings came out Wednesday, it looks like that run will continue in today’s trading, and user growth and profits should power FB stock in the months ahead.
Here are the details:
- Facebook earnings hit 30 cents a share, and adjusted earnings came in at 42 cents — a dime better than Wall Street expectations — and Facebook revenues of $2.91 billion easily topped forecasts of $2.8 billion.
- The growth on both fronts was impressive for FB stock. Revenue was up an impressive 61%, and Facebook earnings that hit $791 million over just $333 last year was good for a growth rate of 137%.
- Engagement metrics were strong for FB stock, with Facebook’s monthly active users up 14% from a year earlier, and daily active users were up 19%.
One of my favorite factoids is that Facebook’s mobile daily active users now number twice as many as the population of the U.S.!
FB clearly is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to user growth and engagement. And unlike Twitter (TWTR), which has a huge problem turning a profit and is already seeing its quarter-over-quarter user growth slow, Facebook stock still has a tailwind.
Sure, Facebook earnings aren’t as big as some would like … but the company is indeed profitable, even if its forward price-to-earnings ratio is a bit high at around 38.
Click to Enlarge It’s also worth noting that while Yahoo (YHOO) and Google (GOOG) both are having very public struggles with their advertising revenue, Facebook is having no problem wringing even more money out of its user base. The all-important revenue per user metric bumped up again for FB stock last quarter in every geography — a testament to the company’s ability to turn people into real money, which is a feat many social media and tech stocks can’t achieve.
There are reasons to be skeptical of Facebook stock, as there are always reasons to be skeptical of relatively new Internet stocks that are not yet fully understood and still in aggressive growth mode.
But to me, this strong earnings report is another validation that Facebook is a dominant platform — and most importantly, one that can draw significant revenue from its users and drive profits to FB stock holders.
Jeff Reeves is the editor of InvestorPlace.com and the author of The Frugal Investor’s Guide to Finding Great Stocks. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. Write him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter via @JeffReevesIP.