Facebook Earnings: This Quarter We Stole Google’s Thunder

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) has released its much-anticipated third quarter 2012 results. Overall: not bad.

Revenue came in at $1.26 billion, up 32 percent from the third quarter of 2011, and over expectations for $1.23 billion. Advertising represented 86 percent of total revenue, a 36 percent increase from 2011. About 14 percent of advertising revenue for the quarter came from mobile.

Driving that mobile traffic and advertising revenue has been a slew of new products and initiatives aimed at monetizing its mobile users without disrupting experience. Among them, Sponsored Stories, and news feed application ads. The release points out that 70 percent of advertising campaigns showed a return on ad spending of 3 times or better.

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Non-GAAP earnings per share came in at $0.12, beating expectations by 1 cent. GAAP earnings per share came in at a loss of $0.02.

GAAP operating margin was 30 percent for the quarter, down from 43 percent in 2011.

The company’s release highlights 1.01 billion monthly active users as of September 30, 2012, an increase of 26 percent year-over-year, as well as 604 million mobile monthly active users, up 61 percent year-over year.

The big news is that Facebook’s year-over-year revenue growth has picked up, 36 percent this quarter compared to 28 percent last.

After closing up just under 1 percent on Tuesday, shares have spiked as much as 19.8 percent in Wednesday trading. Facebook’s surge is pretty much the polar opposite of Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) premature trip over a cliff when its earnings came out last week.

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