Facebook, the world's biggest social-media service, keeps growing bigger as the company blew past Wall Street financial forecasts for the fourth quarter of 2015.
The company said it had 1.59 billion monthly active users as of Dec. 31, up 14% year-over-year. Revenue of $5.84 billion was up 52% and net income more than doubled to $1.56 billion, or 79 cents per share.
Facebook shares popped more than 5% in after-hours trading, after closing down 3% Wednesday amid a broader market pullback. Analysts had expected Facebook to report earnings of 68 cents per share on revenue of $5.36 billion for Q4, according to a Thomson Reuters survey.
An unidentifed University of Missouri student looks through Facebook while in class Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2006, on the Columbia, Mo. campus. Facebook, a popular online social network for students, has drawn the attention of several schools administrators and prospective employers to see what students are up to. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)
**ADVANCE FOR WEEKEND FEB. 24-25** Facebook.com's mastermind, Mark Zuckerberg smiles at his office in Palo Alto, Calif., Monday, Feb. 5, 2007. He is sitting on a potential gold mine that could make him the next Silicon Valley whiz kid to strike it rich. But the 22-year-old founder of the Internet's second largest social-networking site also could turn into the next poster boy for missed opportunities if he waits too long to cash in on Facebook Inc., which is expected to generate revenue of more than $100 million this year. The bright outlook is one reason Zuckerberg felt justified spurning several takeover bids last year, including a $1 billion offer from Yahoo Inc. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
This photo photo provided by the Medill News Service shows a Facebook web page seen in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2008. (AP Photo/Medill, News Service, Lillian Cunningham)
FILE - This July 23, 2008 file photo shows Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, delivering the keynote address during the annual Facebook f8 developer conference in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg delivers a keynote address at a conference in San Francisco, Wednesday, April 21, 2010. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
A businessman displays the Facebook Inc. web page using an Apple iPad, made by Apple Inc. in this arranged photograph in London, U.K., on Thursday, Aug.19, 2010. Research In Motion Ltd. is turning to technology used in BMW audio systems and the Armyï¿½s Crusher tank as it tries to distinguish its new tablet computer from Apple Inc.ï¿½s iPad, said three people familiar with the plans. Photographer: Jason Alden/Bloomberg via Getty Images
FILE- This undated product image released by Facebook on Aug. 25, 2010, shows Facebook Places. (AP Photo/Facebook) NO SALES. BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE.** zu APD9318 **
Mark Zuckerbergs facebook page. (Erkan Mehmet / Alamy)
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg talks about the redesign during the f/8 conference in San Francisco, Thursday, Sept. 22, 2011. Facebook is dramatically redesigning its users' profile pages to create what Zuckerberg says is a "new way to express who you are." (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
This June 20, 2012 photo shows a Facebook login page on a computer screen in Oakland, N.J. Facebook is expected to report their quarterly financial results after the market closes on Thursday, July 26, 2012. (AP Photo/Stace Maude)
FILE - In this May 9, 2013 file photo, Joshua Knoller, an account manager with Nicholas & Lence Communications, looks at the Facebook page of his mother, Rochelle Knoller of Fair Lawn, N.J., on his office computer, in New York. Knoller spent years refusing his motherâs âFriend Requestâ on Facebook before eventually âcaving in.â Today they have an agreement: sheâll try not to make embarrassing comments, and he can delete them if she does. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg gestures while delivering the keynote address at the f8 Facebook Developer Conference Wednesday, April 30, 2014, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
23 March 2015 - Istanbul, TURKEY: Facebook user login screen. The number of active mobile users Facebook has reached 1 billion people. (Photo via Shutterstock)
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"2015 was a great year for Facebook. Our community continued to grow and our business is thriving," Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in announcing the results. "We continue to invest in better serving our community, building our business and connecting the world."
Facebook users now watch 100 million hours of video daily on the service, Zuckerberg said on the earnings call. In addition to testing a suggested videos feature, the company also is "exploring ways to give people a dedicated place on Facebook when they just want to watch videos," he said.
The latest quarter of impressive growth again was driven by mobile usage and advertising. Mobile daily active users were 934 million on average in December 2015 — an increase of 25% year-over-year — while total daily active users rose 17%, to 1.04 billion. Mobile ad revenue was around $4.5 billion, or 80% of total advertising revenue for the fourth quarter of 2015, compared with 69% in the year-earlier period.
On the virtual-reality front, Zuckerberg noted that Facebook plans to begin shipping the Oculus Rift headset in 20 countries before the end of March. The device will carry a price tag of $599.
The Oculus Rift VR system is "going to be gaming for the beginning, that's the initial market," Zuckerberg said. "But overall, the reason why we're interested in this is because we think this is going to be a new way for people to interact."
Facebook did not break out results for Instagram, except to note that it passed 400 million monthly active users in September 2015. COO Sheryl Sandberg said on the earnings call that 98 of the top 100 Facebook advertisers also advertised on Instagram in Q4.
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