Facebook profit slips ahead of stock market debut

SAN FRANCISCO: Facebook reported Monday that its quarterly profit slipped to $205 million despite a surge in revenue as it bumped up research and promotion expenses ahead of its stock market debut.

Facebook said that its net income in the quarter ended March 31 dipped from the $233 million logged in the same period last year despite revenue vaulting to $1.06 billion.


While revenue improved year-over-year, it was down about six percent from the previous quarter.

The number of people using Facebook had risen to 901 million by the end of the quarter, according to paperwork filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission to update earnings and user figures.

Facebook is expected to make its much-anticipated stock market debut next month on the technology-heavy Nasdaq.

Facebook in February filed to go public and could raise as much as $10 billion in the largest flotation ever by an Internet company on Wall Street.

The paperwork filed for the initial public offering provided the first glimpse of the financial details of the web giant launched eight years ago by Mark Zuckerberg from his Harvard University dorm room.

Facebook, which is shifting operations to a former Sun Microsystems campus in the California city of Menlo Park, reported net income of $668 million last year.

Revenue nearly doubled to $3.7 billion in 2011, with most of it coming from targeted advertising gleaned from personal information shared by the hundreds of millions of users of the platform.

Facebook is the leading social network in all but six countries, notably China and Russia. Its value has been estimated at between $75 billion and $100 billion.

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