Facebook is doing everything right

Well, that’s unexpected.
Well, that’s unexpected.
Image: AP Photo/Eric Risberg
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Facebook has proven to be a bright spot amid a series of gloomy earnings from tech companies, including Alphabet, Apple, and Twitter.

Reporting its first quarter results today (April 27), the company beat Wall Street’s expectations for revenue and earnings. Facebook increased sales by 52% to $5.38 billion and reported $1.51 billion in profit, a nearly 200% jump from the year-ago period. Facebook’s stock was up almost 10% in after-hours trading.

This marks the ninth time Facebook has outperformed analyst expectations in the last 10 quarters. That continued strength should earn Facebook a lot of goodwill with investors.

In that light, it’s proposing changes to its stock structure, which shareholders will vote on at its upcoming annual meeting on June 20. In a proxy filing today, the company revealed a proposal to establish a new class of non-voting capital stock. Similar to Google’s (now Alphabet’s) dual share structure, Facebook’s new class C stock would let CEO Mark Zuckerberg retain control of the company’s voting power, even as he plans to donate 99% of his shares to a new philanthropic foundation that he and his wife, Priscilla Chan, created.

“We are focused on the long term,” Zuckerberg told investors in a call to discuss earnings today. “And that’s the main reason for today’s proposal. Facebook has always been a founder-like company, so we can focus on the mission and build long-term value.”

Mobile continued to fuel Facebook’s growth, contributing 82% of its advertising revenue. The number of mobile users continues to tick upward and now make up 92% of the social network’s 1.65 billion monthly active users. Of Facebook’s 1.51 billion mobile users, 989 million were checking the app every day in the first quarter. The company also said that it has seen 1 billion people using Facebook on mobile every day in recent weeks.

As Zuckerberg emphasized to investors, the company is focused on the long term. Just like how it built a $13 billion mobile business in four years from nothing, it’s hoping to replicate that success with messaging and virtual reality.