Facebook doubles profit, boosts revenue 61%

Facebook Inc. increased its revenue 61 per cent in the second quarter and doubled its profit, beating Wall Street’s targets.

The social networking company is riding high because of strong demand for its mobile advertising business.

Menlo Park, California-based Facebook said that mobile advertising revenue represented 62 per cent of its ad revenue in the second quarter, up from 41 per cent a year ago.

Facebook made mobile ads a key part of its strategy more than a year ago, after seeing users shift their access from desktop. It dropped the cost of ads, but ended up selling more of them, boosting its revenue each quarter since it adopted the strategy.

Overall revenue totaled $2.91 billion US in the three months ended June 30, a sharp jump from $1.81 billion a year ago. Analysts had expected $2.8 billion.

Facebook posted $791 million in net income, or 30 cents a share, compared with $333 million or 13 cents a share in the second quarter of 2013. Excluding certain items, Facebook said it earned 42 cents a share in the second quarter, surpassing analysts’ expectations of 32 cents a share.

The social network now has 1.32 billion monthly users, a 14 per cent increase in the past year. It also has 829 million daily active users.

Facebook shares have climbed $16.64, or 30 per cent, to $71.29 since the beginning of the year and the stock has more than doubled in the past year. In after-hours trading, Facebook stock was up 2.9 per cent to $71.29.

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