Facebook's profits soar as ad spending leaps

MENLO PARK, Calif. - Facebook (FB) on Wednesday reported profits that more than doubled in its second quarter, and topped analysts' expectations.

The Menlo Park, Calif.-based social media giant said earnings rose to $788 million, or 30 cents per share, from $331 million, or 13 cents per share, in the same quarter a year ago.

Earnings, adjusted for stock option expense, were 42 cents per share. The average estimate of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 33 cents per share.

The company said revenue climbed 61 percent to $2.91 billion from $1.81 billion in the same quarter a year ago, and beat Wall Street forecasts. Analysts expected $2.8 billion, according to Zacks. Fueling the revenue jump was a strong increase in advertising spending on Facebook's platform, particularly for mobile, which accounted for nearly two-thirds of ad revenue in the quarter compared with 30 percent a year ago.

Facebook shares have climbed $16.64, or 30 percent, to $71.29 since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index has climbed 7.5 percent. The stock has increased $44.78, or more than doubled, in the last 12 months.

In after-hours trading shortly after the results were announced, Facebook shares were seeing a healthy bump, adding about $2.80, or 4 percent, to $74.16.