Trending: Facebook’s newest Seattle offices in Amazon’s backyard sell for $415M
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at the F8 developer conference. (Facebook photo)

Facebook delivered stronger-than-expected profits in the most recent quarter, boosting the stock more than 8 percent in after-hours trading.

Revenues topped analysts’ forecasts at $16.9 billion and earnings per share came in at $2.38, well above Wall Street’s expectations of $2.19. Net income rose from $4.3 billion to $6.9 billion in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Facebook’s net income grew significantly in the fourth quarter. (Facebook graphic)

Monthly active users were up 9 percent year-over-year to 2.32 billion, slightly above expectations. That was welcome news for investors, who were keen to see whether the ongoing public backlash against the company’s privacy practices would send users fleeing.

“We put most of our energy into security over the past 19 months,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on a call with investors. “The reality is that we had a number of substantive issues that we had to address.”

Last week, Zuckerberg attempted to explain how and why Facebook uses people’s data in an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal.

 

Facebook also revealed the extent of its 2018 hiring spree, reporting that headcount increased 42 percent to 35,587 employees. With that growth has come a voracious appetite for real estate, including in the Seattle area.

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