Facebook’s profit and revenue for the final quarter of the year have handily surpassed Wall Street’s expectations despite challenges the social network is facing around regulation and efforts to fight election interference.
Facebook earned $US7.35 billion ($A10.89 billion), or $US2.56 a share, up 7.0 per cent from $US6.88 billion, or $US2.38 a share, a year earlier.
The company said on Wednesday that revenue rose 25 per cent to $US21.1 billion from $US16.9 billion.
Analysts were expecting earnings of $US2.52 a share and revenue of $US20.9 billion, according to FactSet.
Facebook’s stock dropped more than 6.0 per cent in after-hours trading after the results came out, even though the numbers were better than expected.
The Menlo Park, California-based company had 2.5 billion monthly users at the end of the year, up 8.0 per cent from a year earlier.
The company has had a rough couple of years and is under growing regulatory scrutiny around the world.
In the US, it faces several government investigations for alleged anti-competitive behaviour.
Last August, it was fined $US5 billion by the Federal Trade Commission for privacy violations. This was the largest FTC fine ever for a tech company.
“This is a company that has shown that it can withstand ongoing criticism of its practices and yet still pull out gains in both revenue and users,” eMarketer analyst Debra Aho Williamson said.