Facebook's fourth-quarter earnings smash Wall Street expectations

Photo: Reuters

Social media giant Facebook today reported sales and earnings that well exceeded Wall Street's expectations, as both the number of users and mobile ad dollars rose from October to December.

"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 a statement. "We continue to invest in better serving our community, building our business, and connecting the world."

From coverage in Silicon Valley's hometown paper, the San Jose Merc:

Facebook's fourth-quarter sales were $5.84 billion, up 52 percent, and beating the $5.37 billion in revenue that analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report. Facebook earned 54 cents a share, surpassing the 42 cents a share expected during that period. Excluding certain expenses, Facebook reported earnings of 79 cents compared with the 68 cents analysts expected.

As of December, Facebook had 1.59 billion monthly active users, up 14 percent from the same period last year, with most also using the site on their smartphones. Mobile ad sales made up 80 percent of advertising revenue for the fourth quarter.

They should be sending you flowers and chocolates, you little Facebook user, you! Because this is exactly what those gangbusters earnings report mean: your value to Facebook keeps climbing higher.