Facebook Crushes Earnings Expectations, Stock Surges

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Revenues and profits both exceed projections

Facebook crushed Wall Street expectations with its fourth quarter earnings report on Wednesday sending shares of the social media giant soaring in after-hours trading.

During the three months ending in December, the company’s revenue increased 63 percent to $2.59 billion on the strength of its mobile ad sales, while earnings topped off at 31 cents a share. Net income at the company hit $523 million, a significant increase over the $64 million it reported in the same quarter a year ago.

That easily tops the $2.33 billion in revenue and 27 cents a share in earnings analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had projected.

Also read: Facebook Admits Drop in Teen Users, Stock Falls

Facebook’s stock surged more than 7 percent to $57.41 on the strength of those numbers.

The company said it now attracts 1.23 billion active users a month, a 16 percent increase year-over-year.

The social network is trying to answer investor concerns that teenagers are flocking away from Facebook, on the hunt for cooler, sleeker digital platforms that don’t play host to their parents’ friends.

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Last quarter, an errant comment by Chief Financial Officer David Ebersman that the company was “close to fully penetrated among teens,” sent its stock plunging in the middle of an earnings call with analysts. The company’s brass will likely be more politic this go round.

However, the company appears to have successfully assuaged fears it lacks a mobile strategy, as 53 percent of its ad revenue was generated on smart phones, tablets and other portable devices.

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Facebook, a company that started in its co-founder’s Harvard dorm room, will celebrate its tenth anniversary in February.

“It was a great end to the year for Facebook,” said Zuckerberg in a statement. His transition from entrepreneur to CEO of a publicly traded company has been bumpy at times. “We’re looking forward to our next decade and to helping connect the rest of the world.”