Facebook beats Q1 targets handily amid CFO shuffle

UPDATED: Mark Zuckerberg boasted that the contributions of Whatsapp could make it as ubiquitous as Facebook one day.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

Just looking at the multi-billion dollar acquisitions of Whatsapp and Oculus Rift, it was quite a first quarter for Facebook. Let's see how those dents affected the balance sheet.

The social network reported a first quarter net income of $642 million, or 25 cents per share (statement).

Non-GAAP earnings were 34 cents per share on a revenue of $2.5 billion.

Wall Street was looking for earnings of 24 cents per share on a revenue of $2.36 billion.

Membership was up across the board, especially on mobile where daily active users increased to 609 and counting, up 43 percent year-over-year. Monthly mobile active users were up by 34 percent to 1.01 billion.

Thus, it is no surprise that mobile advertising revenue accounted for roughly 59 percent of total advertising revenue during Q1. Mobile ads only accounted for just under a third of advertising revenue this time last year.

Overall, Facebook now retails more than 1.28 billion monthly active users, up 15 percent year-over-year.

Always the purveyor of the mobile-first agenda, CEO Mark Zuckerberg reflected on the busy quarter in prepared remarks:

We've made some long term bets on the future while staying focused on executing and improving our core products and business. We're in great position to continue making progress towards our mission.

The other big piece of news slipped into the first quarter report is that Facebook CFO David Ebersman will be stepping down later this year. Ebersman's replacement also hints at bolstering the mobile strategy being that the new chief financial officer will be David Wehner, previously CFO at Zynga.

Currently Facebook's vice president for Corporate Finance and Business Planning since joining in November 2012, Wehner will step into his new role on June 1.

Ebersman's departure appears to be amicable. Noting he plans to get back into the healthcare field, Ebersman will stay on at Facebook through September to help with the transition.

For the current quarter, Wall Street expects Facebook to return with earnings of 28 cents per share and revenue around $2.67 billion.

Facebook is already moving full steam ahead onto the second quarter. Next week, the Menlo Park, Calif.-based company is hosting its first developer summit in three years. Last time the focus was on revamping the user experience as well as promoting an app ecosystem.

This time, the focus at the San Francisco Design Center is expected to hover around Facebook's biggest money maker these days, with circulating reports pointing toward a full-fledged mobile ad network poised to compete with Google and Twitter-owned MoPub.

UPDATE: During the quarterly shareholders call on Wednesday afternoon, Zuckerberg highlighted Facebook's ongoing roadmap for mobile, the Connectivity Lab also unveiled during the quarter, and the knowledge economy.

But the mobile app ecosystem might be the spots to watch, at least for analysts and investors, as Facebook builds what is looking like a social media conglomerate. But Zuckerberg warned that monetization is not the priority for Facebook's Messenger app as well as Instagram and Whatsapp, but rather user growth.

Zuckerberg added that Whatsapp will play important role in Facebook's messaging platform, touting it could be as "ubiquitous as Facebook itself one day." He promised more details on that strategy after the $16 billion deal closes.

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