Despite Facebook's recent scandals, such as the site's biggest data breach, the social media company managed to beat Wall Street's estimates in its Q4 earnings. "Facebook hit 2.32 billion monthly users, up 2.2 percent from 2.27 billion last quarter, speeding up its growth rate," reports TechCrunch. "Facebook climbed to 1.52 billion daily active users from 1.49 billion last quarter for a 2 percent growth rate that dwarfed last quarter's 1.36 percent." From the report: Facebook earned $16.91 billion off all those users with a $2.38 GAAP earnings per share. Those numbers handily beat Wall Street's expectations of $16.39 billion in revenue and $2.18 GAAP earnings per share, plus 2.32 billion monthly and 1.51 billion daily active users. Facebook's daily to monthly user ratio, or stickiness, held firm at 66 percent where it's stayed for years, showing those still on Facebook aren't using it much less. Facebook shares had closed today at $150.42 but shot up over 9 percent following the record revenue and profit announcements to hover around $162. A big 30 percent year-over-year boost in average revenue per user in North America fueled those gains. Yet that's still way down from $186 where it was a year ago and a peak of $217 in July. Facebook's monthly active user plateaued in North America but roared up in Europe. That was shored up by a reversal of last quarter's decline in Rest Of World average revenue per user, which fell 4.7% in Q3 but bounced back with 16.5 percent growth in Q4. Facebook raked in $6.8 billion in profit this quarter as it slowed down hiring and only grew headcount 5 percent from 33,606 to 35,587. It seems Facebook has gotten to a comfortable place with its security staff-up in the wake of election interference, fake news, and content moderation troubles. Its revenue is up 30 percent year-over-year while profits grew 61 percent, which is pretty remarkable for a 15-year old technology company.
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