It destroyed expectations on the top and bottom lines, posting strong growth across the board.
The stock is up 9% in pre-market trading to $US77.70, a new all-time high.
After looking at the earnings report, there are two things that stand out above the rest.
1. Facebook’s user growth is astounding.
Even with over a billion current users, Facebook gained 40 million monthly active users on a sequential basis. On a year-over-year basis, it gained 162 million users, a 14% gain.
If any startup, or app was gaining 41 million new users on a quarterly basis, the tech world would be freaking out. The reaction to Facebook gaining all those users is pretty muted.
Again, this is a company with 1.3 billion users, and it’s still growing like crazy.
2. Facebook has so many revenue opportunities ahead of it.
Facebook hasn’t even really started to sell ads in Instagram. When it decides to do that, that’s another massive advertising revenue stream.
WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger are giant products that have not yet been monetized. If Facebook can unlock some sort of new business model, that’s another big business line.
Facebook search has potential. This is a long shot, but if Facebook can improve its search engine and get people to actually use it, there’s revenue potential.
Oculus VR is a long term bet. Right now it’s a gaming device. In the long run it could be a platform for much, much more. Virtual Reality has the potential to take people around the world from their homes. It can be used to train and teach people. Even if it’s just a gaming device, that’s got potential to be a healthy business.
Ben Schachter at Macquarie Research says of these various opportunities, “In our view, most of these businesses have the potential to be as large or larger than FB’s current advertising business. And while the company emphasised that it is taking a long-term approach to each, we think that any progress will highlight the potential to investors.”
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