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Facebook announced Wednesday that it blew past investor estimates in its fourth quarter earnings, jumping to $3.57 billion in profit, mostly due to mobile advertising growth. In total, advertising revenue grew 53%, and 84% of its total advertising revenue growth in Q4 came from mobile. In an interview with TechCrunch, Facebook's Chief Finance Officer David Wehner also said the tech giant added more users in Q4 than any in its history.

By the numbers, via CNBC:

  • $8.81 billion in revenue vs. $8.51 billion expected
  • $1.41 adjusted earnings per share vs. $1.31 adjusted per share expected
  • 1.23 billion Daily active users (DAUs) vs.1.19 billion expected
  • 1.86 billion Monthly active users (MAUs) vs. 1.83 billion expected

What a difference five years makes ....

  • Facebook's mobile ad revenue from Q4 2011: 0%
  • Facebook's mobile ad revenue from Q4 2016: 84%

For investors: Shares elevated to about three percent after the earnings call. Per Yahoo!, Facebook shares rose after seven of its previous 12 earnings announcements, and Facebook's adjusted earnings per share have now topped estimates for the last 13 quarters.

What matters: Heavy advertising growth, particularly on mobile, should help to relax investor concerns over major investments in virtual reality and augmented reality technologies, as well as big acquisitions like WhatsApp. But Facebook warned investors they should still continue to expect ad revenue to "come down meaningfully" in 2017, as the company works through ways to monetize video while newsfeed inventory continues to plateau. Earnings were announced shortly after Facebook lost a $500 million virtual reality headset case against ZeniMax Media Inc. for stolen technology. Mark Zuckerberg asked investors to be patient as the company continues to make large-scale investments in new technologies.

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - World

Up to 17 U.S. missionaries kidnapped in Haiti

Haitian soldiers guard the public prosecutor's office in Port-au-Prince this month. Photo: Richard Pierrin/AFP via Getty Images

Children were among up to 17 American Christian missionaries and their relatives kidnapped by a gang in Haiti on Saturday, the New York Times first reported.

The latest: Haitian police inspector Frantz Champagne identified the 400 Mawozo gang as the group responsible, in a statement to AP.

Hollywood union reaches deal with studios to avert strike

Photo: AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

A Hollywood workers' union reached a tentative deal with studios, networks and streamers that will guarantee better working conditions, meal breaks and increased wages for low-paid workers, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) announced Saturday night.

Why it matters: The deal, which still needs to be ratified by IATSE members, will avert a nationwide strike by film and television workers that was set to start Monday. It would have been the first strike in the union's 128-year history.

Bill Clinton released from hospital following treatment for non-COVID infection

Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Former President Bill Clinton was discharged from the University of California, Irvine Medical Center on Sunday, nearly a week after he was admitted for a non-COVID-related infection, according to his spokesperson Angel Ureña.

What they're saying: "His fever and white blood cell count are normalized and he will return home to New York to finish his course of antibiotics," wrote Dr. Alpesh Amin, who has been overseeing the team of doctors treating Clinton. "On behalf of everyone at UC Irvine Medical Center, we were honored to have treated him and will continue to monitor his progress."

Worth noting: Clinton had a urinary tract infection that spread to his bloodstream, per CNN.

  • The California-based medical team had been administering IV antibiotics and fluids, and was in constant communication with Clinton's New York team, including his cardiologist, according to the former president's physicians.
  • President Biden spoke by phone with Clinton on Friday to see how he was doing, and the catch-up included a discussion of recent politics.