Facebook chalks up solid first-quarter results

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MENLO PARK, Calif. – Facebook (FB) on Wednesday reported first-quarter profit of $3.06 billion, up from $1.73 billion in first-quarter 2016.

On a per-share basis, the Menlo Park, California-based company said it had profit of $1.04, versus 60 cents per share last year. Adjusted for stock option expense, earnings came to $1.23 per share.

The results exceeded Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of 15 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $1.10 per share.

The social media company posted revenue of $8.03 billion in the period versus $5.38 billion in last year’s first quarter, and also beat Street forecasts. Eleven analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $7.85 billion.

Monthly active users climbed again, hitting 1.94 billion. That’s about 17 percent more than during first-quarter 2016.

Facebook shares have climbed 32 percent since the beginning of the year, while the S&P 500 index has climbed almost 7 percent. In regular-hours trading on Wednesday, shares closed at $151.80, down 0.6 percent (98 cents) on the day, but still up 29 percent in the last 12 months.

Earlier today, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that the company will hire 3,000 new workers to monitor live videos, following a spate of violent incidents broadcast live on the social media platform. The new hires will be added to the community operations team, which reviews videos reported by Facebook users. Zuckerberg said the team currently employs 4,500 people.

In after-hours trading following the earnings release, Facebook shares slid 3.5 percent, or $3.32, to $148.48.

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Source: CBS News – Moneywatch

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