NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Facebook (FB) - Get Facebook, Inc. Class A Report  are up 1.04% to $76.57 today ahead of the company's fourth-quarter earnings report expected after the market close today.

The consensus estimate calls for Facebook to report earnings of 48 cents a share on revenue of $3.77 billion. In the fourth quarter last year, the company posted earnings of 31 cents a share, above the consensus estimate of 26 cents a share, according to analysts polled by Thomson Reuters. Revenue totaled $2.59 billion, above analysts' estimates of $2.33 billion.

In the third quarter of 2014, Facebook posted EPS of 43 cents a share, which beat the consensus estimate of 40 cents a share. Revenue totaled $3.2 billion, which surpassed estimates of $3.12 billion.

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CEO Mark Zuckerberg is looking beyond the company's core business, putting resources into unproven arenas like virtual reality, artificial intelligence and advanced wireless networks, the Wall Street Journal noted.

Investors generally have been more forgiving of Facebook's pricey ambitions than some other companies, the Journal said, adding this earnings call could be another test of patience.

Facebook's R&D spending grew 65% in the third quarter, and the employee rolls increased 49%, compared with a year earlier, according to the Journal.

FB data by YCharts

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