The social media giant reported earnings of $1.09 per share on revenue of $7.01 billion. Analysts' were projecting earnings of 97 cents per share on revenue of $6.93 billion. Despite the top and bottom line beats, the company gave a cautious outlook for 2017.
The company expects ad revenue growth rates to decrease "meaningfully" and stated that 2017 would be an "aggressive" investment year, Facebook CFO David Wehner said on the conference call.
"I think Facebook just gave you the green light to take a profit. If you have been long this stock for a while, and your time horizon is short, they just gave you permission," Ritholtz Wealth Management CEO Josh Brown said during Thursday's "Fast Money Halftime Report" on CNBC.
Brown noted two key takeaways from the company's results.
"Number one, 2017 will be a year of big investment for us, that's code for don't expect the same magnitude of earnings beats and earnings growth acceleration that we have shown you for the last couple of years," he said.
Secondly, he tackled the concern of slowing ad revenue growth.
"Facebook and Google (GOOGL) have this duopoly over online advertising. At a certain point, you can't grow at the same rate you have. They're talking about 1.7 billion users; there aren't another 1.7 [billion] waiting. So I think they gave you the green light to say I've done well, I've made money, now maybe I don't need to be long this at these levels," Brown explained.