Pachter suspects that investors may be worried Facebook’s expenses are starting to outstrip its revenue growth. That was the case in the fourth quarter when the company’s costs, excluding employee stock compensation, soared 67 percent from the previous year to $849 million, mainly due to hiring and infrastructure costs such as data centers and servers. And Facebook promises to keep on spending.
David Ebersman, Facebook’s chief financial officer, said Facebook expects total expenses, excluding stock compensation costs, to grow by about 50 percent in 2013. In 2012, these costs amounted to $2.83 billion, an increase of 63 percent from 2011.
The company ended the year with 4,600 employees, a 44 percent increase from the end of 2011.
AP Technology Writer Michael Liedtke contributed to this story from San Francisco.