Facebook's 2011 revenue and profit numbers leak?

A new rumor suggests Facebook made $3.8 billlion in revenue, and $1.5 billion in profit, for the year 2011. These numbers seem a little off when compared to recent leaks and projections.

Although Facebook's finances have leaked before, the last numbers were only for Q1 2011 through Q3 2011. CNBC correspondent Julie Boorstein claims she has the latest data, encompassing all four quarters from last year, and has posted the numbers on Twitter:

Sources tell me facebooks's 2011 revenue was $3.8B, operating profit around $1.5B

These numbers of course haven't been confirmed, although we may know more as soon as this week, when Facebook is rumored to file for its initial public offering (IPO). The numbers don't really line up with the last leak, which said Facebook made $2.5 billion in revenue for Q1 2011, Q2 2011, and Q3 2011, and had an operating cashflow of $1 billion. Assuming both sets of numbers are accurate, this would mean Facebook saw a whopping $1.3 billion in revenue and made $500 million in profit during Q4 2011.

That's a great fourth quarter, but the numbers are still much lower than what has been predicted for Facebook by eMarketer. Four months ago, the digital marketing firm projected Facebook made $4.27 billion in 2011. This total revenue includes advertising as well as Facebook Credits and other sources. This was of course quite a prediction: the number is more than double the $2 billion Facebook is estimated to have earned in 2010.

All this speculation and estimation will soon be laid to rest. When Facebook releases the numbers everyone is waiting for, we will finally have a benchmark to work with. The company's first official numbers will be the baseline everything is compared to: future quarters, future revenue, future profit, and thus overall growth. Previous estimations and projections simply won't matter. I would be lying if I said I wasn't at least a little excited to see how much money Facebook is making and how profitable it is.

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