Facebook reveals income slip ahead of IPO

Facebook Inc reported its first quarter-to-quarter revenue slide in at least two years, a sign that the social network's sizzling growth may be cooling as it prepares to go public in the biggest ever Internet IPO.

The company blamed the first-quarter decline, which surprised some on Wall Street, on seasonal advertising trends.

Spending roughly doubled over the past 12 months, outpacing the 45 percent revenue increase during the period, it said.

Net income slid 12 per cent to $205m in the quarter, from $233m a year earlier at the rapidly expanding company.

"It was a faster slowdown than we would have guessed," said Brian Wieser, an analyst with Pivotal Research Group.

"No matter how you slice it, for a company that is perceived as growing so rapidly, to slow so much on whatever basis - sequentially or annually - it will be somewhat concerning to investors if faced with a lofty valuation," Wieser said.

Facebook is preparing to raise at least $5bn (£3bn) in an initial public offering that could value the world's largest social network at up to $100bn.