Facebook earnings continue to surge as mobile ads grow

Facebook's (FB) financial performance continues to shine despite being in the spotlight over Russia's interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. 

The social media giant reported Wednesday that its quarterly revenue jumped to $10.3 billion, up from just over $7 billion in the year-ago period. That topped Wall Street forecasts of $9.8 billion and helped push Facebook shares up in after-hours trading. Net income rose 79 percent to $4.7 billion, compared with $2.6 billion a year ago.

Driven by strong ad sales for mobile devices and continuing user growth, Facebook shares have risen more than 60 percent in 2017, closing Wednesday trading at an all-time high of $182.66 and far outpacing gains for the S&P 500 and other major stock indices. Revenue from mobile ads now accounts for 88 percent of the company's total ad revenue.

Facebook now has more than 2 billion monthly active users, up from 1.7 billion a year ago. The number of people who use the service daily also continued to climb in the third quarter to nearly 1.4 billion.

If Facebook's financial performance continues to impress, it remains in the spotlight over how Russia may have used the platform to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election

"Our community continues to grow and our business is doing well," said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a statement. "But none of that matters if our services are used in ways that don't bring people closer together. We're serious about preventing abuse on our platforms. We're investing so much in security that it will impact our profitability. Protecting our community is more important than maximizing our profits."  

Representatives from Facebook, Google (GOOG) and Twitter (TWTR) appeared before lawmakers in Congress Wednesday to answer questions about Russian meddling. Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman and Vice Chairman, Sens. Richard Burr, R-North Carolina, and Mark Warner, D-Virginia, urged the companies to "do more" to determine how foreign actors were able to manipulate messaging on the companies' platforms.