Facebook has passed its first test as a public company, announcing $1.18 billion in revenue, which is a smidge above the $1.14 expected. Perhaps more importantly, even advertising revenue beat expectations, coming in at $992 million versus a $921 million consensus. Unfortunately, that news was only enough to lift the stock for a few moments in after-hours trading. The stock was up 5 percent, now it's down around 5 percent and hit a new low of $24.70. The stock had fallen 8.5 percent just today. Facebook may have lowballed Wall Street to make that number look better, which could explain Wall Street's reaction, as Business Insider's Nicholas Carlson cautioned. The news hasn't helped Zynga's stock, either, which fell almost 40 percent today. It is currently down a few percentage points.
Along with revenue figures, we get some other details that should have made Wall Street happy. Facebook has shown user growth, inching coser to the 1 billionth member mark, reporting 995 "active users," with 552 million of those check in every single day. But, again, that number is deceptive. It might show an overall upward trend, but it also shows a slowed growth rate, as The Wall Street Journal's Scott Austin points out on Twitter.
Facebook's growth still slowing down. 2Q Rev up 33% from a year ago, compared w/ 45% in 1Q, 55% in 4Q and 104% in 3Q.— Scott Austin (@ScottMAustin) July 26, 2012
The company also reported 543 million mobile users. We'll hear more from whoever the mystery presenter turns out to be when Facebook holds its call at 5 p.m. EST.
Update 5:06 p.m.: First, Zuckerberg showed up! This whole call was about explaining the mediocre results, which you can also see in chart form, here. He began by emphasizing "investments," to make us think about the reasons Facebook's revenues weren't that big and to remind us they will get bigger. Other than that, Zuckerberg talked about making Facebook more available. COO Sheryl Sandberg talked about advertising -- fewer than half of ads are social -- and CFO David Ebersman gave some stats, including $2.2 billion in cash investments and a 50 percent increase in headcount.
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