Facebook files for IPO, reveals monster profits

— 6:00 AM on February 2, 2012

You've probably heard about this by now, because it's all over the news: Facebook has filed for its initial public offering. What you may not know are the numbers, and I feel compelled to point them out.

According to Forbes, Facebook had net income of $1 billion on revenue of $3.71 billion for 2011, up from $606 million net income and $1.97 billion revenue for the year before. Yes, the company's profits account for more than a quarter of its revenue. Google has a similar earnings-to-profits ratio, although its figures are an order of magnitude higher: $9.7 billion net income on $37.9 billion revenue for 2011.

Other facts of note: Facebook has $3.91 billion in cash. Its user base amounted to 845 million "monthly active users" as of December 31, which reportedly represents a 39% increase over usage stats from a year before.

Reuters notes that Facebook is looking to sell about $5 billion worth of shares in an IPO "expected to be Silicon Valley's largest ever." Amazingly, however, co-founder Mark Zuckerberg will retain "almost complete control" over the company. He'll own a whopping 56.9% of voting shares.

Considering how Zuckerberg has steered Facebook from a dorm-room project into a multi-billion-dollar business, I doubt anyone would want it any other way.

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