Washington: Riding on advertisement growth, social media giant Facebook on Wednesday reported a stellar $1.5 billion first-quarter profit or 52 cents per share in 2016 — nearly triple of last year’s profits of $512 million in the same period. Better than expected results led to Facebook shares jump more than 9 percent in after-hours trading. In a crucial development, Facebook also announced that its board will soon create a new class of non-voting stock or Class C capital stock. “If the proposal is approved, we intend to issue two shares of Class C capital stock as a one-time stock dividend in respect of each outstanding share of our Class A and Class B common stock,” the company said in a statement on Wednesday.
The proposal is designed to create a capital structure that will, among other things, allow the company to remain focused on founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s long-term vision and encourage him to remain in an active leadership role at Facebook. The adoption of the proposal is subjected to the approval of Facebook’s stockholders at the annual meeting on June 20. “We had a great start to the year. We are focused on our 10-year roadmap to give everyone in the world the power to share anything they want with anyone,” said Zuckerberg in a statement. The company also announced an increase of 52 percent in revenues in the first three months of 2016 to $5.38 billion and said that 1.65 billion people use Facebook at least once a month, up 15 percent, EFE news reported. Overall, Facebook recorded 1.09 billion daily active users (DAUs) in March, an increase of 16 percent compared to the same month in 2015. Mobile DAUs were 989 million on average for March 2016, an increase of 24 percent year-over-year while Monthly active users (MAUs) were 1.65 billion as of March 31 – an increase of 15 percent year-over-year.
Most new Facebook users in the last two years are from Asia, Africa and South America, and two-thirds are outside the US, Canada and Europe. According to www.thestreet.com, Facebook will focus on investing in its ecosystems in the near term, Zuckerberg said during the call with investors. He added that Facebook is happy with the way its photo-sharing platform Instagram has been growing and that around 60 billion messages are sent via Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp every day. “Ultimately, humans have such a deep desire to express themselves and want to connect with people around them,” Zuckerberg noted. According to Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, the company has been capitalising on a shift to mobile as well as the growing number of marketers using mobile products.
At the recently-concluded F8 conference in California, Zuckerburg had said that Facebook will focus on connectivity, artificial intelligence and augmented reality over the next 10 years. The social networking giant also launched AI bots right into its popular messaging app Messenger to allow users to interact with businesses and get updates from them. The company also unveiled its own 360-degree stereoscopic 3D video camera. According to Facebook, there have been more than 50 million businesses on Messenger, which boasts of 900 million monthly active users. The company said it is aiming to provide great valuable experiences for users and added value for businesses. –IANS
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