NEW YORK — Facebook delivered fourth-quarter results above Wall Street’s expectations on Wednesday and sought to show that it has finally transformed into a “mobile company" after rising to dominance as a Web-based social network.
But its stock dropped in after-hours trading as investors placed more significance on the company’s growing expenses rather than on its increasing user base and higher advertising revenue.
“Everything was slightly better than expected," said Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter. “I don’t see anything here that would make me want to sell the stock."
Nonetheless, Facebook’s stock fell $1.11, or 3.6 percent, to $30.13 in after-hours trading following the earnings report.
Facebook Inc. grew its revenue and increased the percentage of it that comes from mobile advertising — a closely watched figure. But expenses also grew sharply. The company also said 2013 will be a year of “significant investments" and hiring as it focuses on long-term growth rather than short-term profits.
The world’s largest social media company earned $64 million, or 3 cents per share, in the October-December period.
Revenue rose 40 percent to $1.59 billion from $1.13 billion, surpassing analysts’ expectations of $1.51 billion.