Good news for Facebook on earnings report day: Net income and revenue grew in the first quarter of the year, helped by an increase in mobile ad revenue—a figure that some skeptical investors have been watching closely. The company said its net income was $219 million, up from $205 million in the same period a year ago when the company was still private. Revenue grew 38% to $1.46 billion, beating analysts' estimates of $1.44 billion. Excluding special items, mainly related to stock compensation expenses, Facebook earned 12 cents per share, matching expectations.
Facebook said mobile advertising revenue was 30% of its total ad revenue, amounting to $375 million. That's up from 23%, or $306 million, in the fourth quarter. Investors had been worried about Facebook's ability to grow mobile revenue since before its initial public offering nearly a year ago. "They are making the transition to mobile faster than anyone anticipated," said Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia. "It seems like they are delivering." Also of note: Facebook says it now has 1.11 billion people using the site each month, slightly more than the 1.06 billion reported three months earlier.