Facebook financial results fly past expectations

NEW YORK Facebook's (FB) stock is soaring after the company reported a 60 percent revenue increase in the third quarter, surpassing Wall Street's expectations for the second quarter in a row.

The world's largest social network said Wednesday that it earned $425 million, or 17 cents per share. That's up from a loss of $59 million, or 2 cents per share, in the same period a year ago.

Shares of Menlo Park, Calif.-based Facebook jumped $5.22, or 10.7 percent, to $54.23.

Adjusted earnings were $621 million, or 25 cents per share in the latest quarter, 6 cents better than analysts expected. This figure excludes special items, mainly stock compensation expenses.

Revenue grew 60 percent to $2.02 billion from $1.26 billion, helped by increasing mobile advertising revenue.

Analysts, on average, were expecting revenue of $1.91 billion, according to FactSet.

Facebook's advertising revenue was $1.8 billion, up 66 percent from a year ago. Mobile ads accounted for 49 percent of the company's total ad revenue during the quarter. In the second quarter, mobile ads amounted to 41 percent of the total. The increase shows that Facebook's strategy to become a "mobile-first" company is paying off.

"The strong results we achieved this quarter show that we're prepared for the next phase of our company, as we work to bring the next five billion people online and into the knowledge economy," said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, in a statement.

Facebook went public in May 2012 at $38 per share. It took the stock more than a year to surpass that price as the company worked to prove that it could grow mobile advertising revenue at a time when an increasing number of its users were accessing it on cellphones and tablet computers.

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