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Facebook reports strong quarterly earnings, beating analysts' estimates

Facebook reports strong quarterly earnings, beating analysts' estimates
Mark Zuckerberg speaks at the Facebook F8 Developer Conference in San Francisco. The social media giant beat analysts' estimates for their third-quarter financial earnings. (Eric Risberg / Associated Press)
Boosted by a surge in advertising, Facebook posted strong third-quarter financial earnings that beat analysts' estimates, the company said Wednesday.
The social media giant said revenue was up 12.5% from a year ago to $ 4.5 billion. Earnings per share came to 57 cents, up 33% from the same period a year earlier.
Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters predicted revenue of $4.36 billion and earnings of 52 cents a share.
Facebook said advertising revenue grew 45% from a year ago to $4.29 billion. About 78% of it was through mobile advertising, up from 66% in the third quarter of 2014.
The number of monthly active users grew 14% year-on-year to 1.55 billion. Analysts had expected growth of 1.52 billion.
“We had a good quarter and got a lot done,” Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and chief executive, said in a statement. “We're focused on innovating and investing for the long term to serve our community and connect the entire world.”
Shares of the Menlo Park company closed at $103.94 Wednesday, up 1.33%. Shares have gained 32% since the start of the year.
The social media giant was buoyed by strong advertising revenue from its mobile app, which saw daily active users climb 27% from a year ago.
Facebook is investing heavily in mobile, particularly video, as advertisers slowly gravitate to the space. About 75% of all Facebook videos are viewed on mobile devices -- making the company a potent rival to Google’s YouTube.
The company also hopes to generate more advertising revenue from Instagram, the photo-sharing app it purchased in 2012 for $1 billion, which has recently expanded its marketing products.
Facebook is also said to be launching a new standalone news app next week, according to the Financial Times.
The app, named Notify, will compete with Snapchat, Twitter and Apple to deliver news natively -- rather than link back to the publisher’s website. The app is similar to an earlier news feature the company launched called Instant Articles, which pushed content onto users' news feeds.
Publishers on Notify will include Vogue, Mashable, CNN, the Washington Post, CBS, Comedy Central and Billboard, the Financial Times reported.
Analysts expect continued growth for Facebook as its mobile apps, including Instagram and messaging app WhatsApp, garner more users. The company is also expected to generate new advertising opportunities as its virtual reality property, Oculus, matures. The company is also competing with Google to develop a leading virtual personal assistant powered by artificial intelligence.

Follow @dhpierson for tech news.

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