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Facebook (FB) Clobbers Q1 Earnings, Offers C-Class Shares

Social media giant Facebook (FB) has reported Q1 earnings after the bell Wednesday, and results were a positive surprise of blowout proportions. The company posted earnings of 57 cents per share (accounting for stock-based compensation, etc.; the headline was 77 cents vs. 62 expected) on revenues of $5.4 billion in the quarter, far exceeding the 44 cents and $5.23 billion expected.

Advertising revenue rose 57 percent year over year to $5.2 billion in the quarter, and Mobile Ad Revenue now amounts to 82 percent of total ad revenue. User engagement also improved on the quarter — up 15 percent. Monthly Active Users reached 1.65 billion, of which 66 percent — 1.09 billion — are Daily Active Users. Both of these key metrics are better than expected.

Noteworthy in this quarter is Facebook’s proposal offering of C-class shares — non-voting entities granted to A-class FB holders at two per. This has been developed so that CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who has already stated he plans to give away 99 percent of his fortune to charity, can do so without affecting overall shareholder wealth. The proposal is expected to pass easily, as Zuckerberg holds the majority of A-class shares.

In all, it was an extraordinary quarter for the company, which continues to dominate ad revenue, especially on mobile devices, in an overall expanding social media industry. Companies that rival Facebook in terms of market cap and growth, like Alphabet (GOOGL) and Apple (AAPL), are also burdened by huge expenses of developing businesses that Facebook is as yet unhindered by.

Even Zuckerberg’s move toward altruistic pursuits was handled smoothly and with seeming total ease. In short, a home run for Facebook in Q1 earnings for 2016. Finally one of the FANG stocks has proven to still have some tooth.
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