Facebook Beats 2Q Forecasts, User Numbers Grow, Stock Soars

Facebook Beats 2Q Forecasts, User Numbers Grow, Stock Soars
The Associated Press

NEW YORK—Facebook’s stock is trading higher after the world’s biggest social media company handily surpassed Wall Street’s expectations for the second quarter, barreling ahead on mobile advertisements, user growth and the next frontier—video.

Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said in an interview that people are spending more time each day on Facebook, on average. The company’s focus on video is attracting more attention from users, she said. Facebook has been working to get users to create and watch more videos, from each other, from businesses and from celebrities.

Facebook had 1.71 billion monthly users as of June 30, up 15 percent year-over-year. Mobile accounted for 84 percent of the quarter’s ad revenue.

Overall, Facebook Inc. on Wednesday said its second-quarter net income nearly tripled, to $2.06 billion, or 71 cents per share, up from $719 million, or 25 cents per share, in the same period a year earlier.

Adjusted earnings were 97 cents per share in the latest quarter, beating Wall Street expectations of 81 cents per share, according to 15 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research.

Menlo Park, California-based Facebook’s revenue grew 59 percent, to $6.44 billion. Eleven analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $6.01 billion.

Facebook has a long tradition of surpassing analysts’ expectations with its quarterly earnings.

The company’s stock rose $8.01, or 6.5 percent, to $131.35 in after-hours trading. Shares have increased 18 percent since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index has increased 6 percent.