Facebook:Steady Growth Big profit

Facebook is now a $3.7 billion company that raked in a cool $1 billion in profits for 2011. And although the company is raising as much as $5 billion in a public offering, Facebook has $3.91 billion in the bank, far more than many of its rivals in the Internet space. Facebook also confirmed that it has 845 million users as of December.

Facebook's financials, first disclosed on Wednesday, show it's a startup no longer. Instead, Facebook has evolved into a mature company with an established track record of generating ever-increasing revenue and profits.
By waiting so long to file for a public offering, Facebook has moved beyond the notion of a money-losing startup. That phase passed in 2008, when the company lost $58 million—the last year Facebook lost money.

Since then, profits have skyrocketed. In the three most recent calendar years that Facebook laid out within its prospectus, three numbers stand out: $229 million, $606 million, and $1.0 billion—the amount, in profits, that Facebook earned for the last three years, including 2011. But Facebook also demonstrated skyrocketing revenues, almost tripling its sales numbers from 2008 to 2009, and growing another 154 percent in 2010. In 2009, Facebook reported $777 million in revenue; in 2010, $1.974 billion, and in 2011, $3.71 billion.

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