Facebook's Q1 rides mobile surge, with slight earnings miss

The social network's March quarter, though not spectacular, was a decent one with 30 percent of ad revenue coming from mobile.

Jennifer Van Grove Former Senior Writer / News
Jennifer Van Grove covered the social beat for CNET. She loves Boo the dog, CrossFit, and eating vegan. Her jokes are often in poor taste, but her articles are not.
Jennifer Van Grove
2 min read
facebook hq lobby
Matt Harnack/Facebook

Facebook reported first-quarter 2013 earnings that were close to Wall Street's expectations.

The social network came in with earnings per share of 12 cents, excluding one-time items, and revenue that grew 38 percent to $1.46 billion compared to the same quarter one year ago. The company said mobile advertising accounted for around 30 percent -- which amounts to about $375 million -- of its advertising revenue for the quarter. Revenue from advertising in the quarter totaled $1.25 billion, or 85 percent of total revenue.

Facebook had 1.11 billion monthly active users as of March 31. The company grew its daily active users to 665 million people, which is an increase of 26 percent year over year. Facebook saw the most explosive growth in mobile active users; it had 751 million monthly mobile active users by quarter's end, marking 54 percent year-over-year growth.

"We've made a lot of progress in the first few months of the year," Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said in a statement. "We have seen strong growth and engagement across our community and launched several exciting products."

Heading into Wednesday, Wall Street anticipated $1.44 billion in revenue and adjusted earnings per share of 13 cents, which means Facebook beat revenue expectations but missed on earnings. Analysts were expecting to see $1.25 billion in advertising revenue with around 27 percent, or $340 million, coming from mobile advertising efforts. So Facebook didn't disappoint on either of those fronts.

In the fourth quarter, Facebook made around $306 million from mobile ads, good enough for 23 percent of all ad revenue. This time around, Facebook made roughly $375 million from its mobile ads, which was more than most analysts were expecting.

Though Facebook's first quarter saw the acquisition of Atlas and witnessed the birth of both Graph Search and a new News Feed designed with money-making in mind, investors approached today's report with much less enthusiasm for the social network than they did three months ago.

Facebook closed Wednesday at $27.43 per share. Shares are slightly up in after-hours trading.

This story is developing. Refresh for updates.

FB Q1 2013 earnings slides