Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg gets to have all the fun. Not only does he own a Hungarian sheepdog, but his net worth has hit $32 billion as Facebook shares hit new highs with the company firing on all cylinders.
The stock rallied 7% this morning, hitting a new all-time high of $76 per share. [Disclosure: the author was smart enough to buy Facebook shares at $18 but then dumb enough to sell them last year in the $30s. Oops.]
Facebook reported a record second quarter with revenue of $2.91 billion, an increase of 61% over the same quarter of last year. The company booked $791 million in net profit and is now at a annual run rate of $3 billion in net profits. The social networking company’s fortunes were boosted by gains in mobile advertising, much of it attributed to growth in Instagram. Mobile advertising revenue represented approximately 62% of advertising revenue for the second quarter of 2014, up from approximately 41% of ad revenue in the second quarter of 2013.
“We had a good second quarter,” said Zuckerberg in the understated press statement. What happens when he gets really excited? After all, he’s only created one of the greatest wealth creation vehicles of all time.
“We project FB will reach $12B of revenue and $1.62 of Operating EPS in FY14, making it one of the fastest value creation stories in our lifetimes,” wrote Needham & Co. Internet analyst Laura Martin in an investment note this morning.
The main driver of investor enthusiasm is Facebook’s success in the mobile space. Mobile Daily Active Users (DAUs) were 654 million on average for June 2014, an increase of 39% year-over-year. Clearly Facebook has had a lot of success aggregating tons of mobile eyeballs with its products.
You can’t argue about the numbers, but when I read about Facebook’s gaudy numbers, I ask one thing: Do the ads work? I’m a pretty heavy Facebook user, and I’m a big fan of using social networking to increase your brand — but not necessarily by spending money. There has been concern that the younger generation spurns Facebook, but mobile growth at Facebook is taking off. Facebook’s purchase of Instagram for $1 billion 2012 is now looking like genius, as Instagram has become a huge mobile drove driver.
People are obviously using Facebook ads.
Some surveys appear to back up the trend: Big marketers are using Facebook. Around 84% of respondents to a recent Ad Age survey reported using Facebook, making it the most popular of social advetising platforms. Facebook has a bigger share of digital budgets than Twitter and YouTube.
The numbers are pretty clear: Digital marketers are turning to Facebook and social marketing in droves. The skeptics have been wrong. Social marketing is becoming the real deal.