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Facebook Shares Rise as First-Quarter Ad Revenue Tops Expectations

Tickers in this article: FB

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Facebook reported on Wednesday first-quarter earnings and revenue that topped expectations as advertising revenues grew more than expected.

"Facebook's business is strong and growing, and this quarter was a great start to 2014," said founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg in the earnings statement. "We've made some long-term bets on the future while staying focused on executing and improving our core products and business. We're in great position to continue making progress towards our mission."

Revenue for the first quarter of 2014 totaled $2.5 billion, an increase of 72%, compared with $1.46 billion in the first quarter of 2013. First-quarter revenue of $2.36 billion was expected, according to Thomson ONE Analytics.

Revenue from advertising was $2.27 billion, an 82% increase from the same quarter last year. Mobile ad revenue represented about 59% of advertising revenue in the first quarter, up from about 30% of ad revenue the same time last year. Payments and other fees revenue arrived at $237 million.

Analysts on average were expecting total ad revenue of $2.14 billion, a 71% increase year-over-year.

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The company provided user-engagement numbers as of March. Daily active users (DAUs) were 802 million on average for March 2014, an increase of 21% year-over-year. Mobile DAUs were 609 million on average for March, an increase of 43% year-over-year. Monthly active users (MAUs) were 1.28 billion as of March 31, 2014, an increase of 15% year-over-year. Mobile MAUs were 1.01 billion as of March 31, an increase of 34% year-over-year.

Costs increased during the quarter. GAAP costs and expenses for the first quarter of 2014 were $1.43 billion, a rise of 32% from the first quarter of 2013, driven primarily by increased headcount and infrastructure expenses. Capital expenditures for the first quarter were $363 million.

Overall, first-quarter GAAP net income was $642 million, up 193% compared to a year ago. Excluding share-based compensation and related payroll tax expenses and income tax adjustments, non-GAAP net income was $885 million, up 184%. Excluding these items, non-GAAP diluted EPS was 34 cents, up 183%. The Wall Street EPS target was 24 cents.

Facebook also announced that David Ebersman has informed the company of his intention to step down as chief financial officer after serving in the position for almost five years. On June 1, 2014, he will be succeeded as CFO by David Wehner, currently Facebook's vice president of corporate finance and business planning. Ebersman will remain with the company through September to help with the transition of his responsibilities.

Shares were rising more than 2% in afterhours trading at last check.

Facebook will host a conference call to discuss the results at 2 p.m. PT or 5 p.m. ET.

-- Written by Andrea Tse in New York

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