Facebook (Nasdaq: FB) has come a long way in a year.
This time a year ago, Facebook stock was trading for $31, still well below its May 18, 2012 IPO price of $38. It seemed as if the social network’s stock might be spinning its tires for years to come.
Fast forward to this morning, and Facebook stock has exactly doubled. Shares are up a whopping 14% to $62 today after the company trounced earnings estimates after hours yesterday. Profits and revenue exceeded Wall Street expectations. EPS was 15% higher than analyst estimates. Revenues were 11% higher.
Mobile was a major reason for the revenue spike. Mobile ads accounted for 53% of Facebook’s fourth-quarter advertising revenue, up from 49% in the third quarter. It’s the first time mobile has accounted for the majority of Facebook’s ad revenue.
The growth in mobile – one of the hottest sectors on the market these days – has been the main driver behind Facebook’s turnaround. Mobile comprised just 23% of Facebook’s ad revenue a year ago. The rise of Facebook’s mobile business is a major development for the company. It now owns an 18% share of the $16.7 billion global mobile-advertising market, second only to Google’s 53% share.
Perhaps not coincidentally, Facebook’s earnings have grown. Facebook reported EPS of $0.31 per share excluding items yesterday, up from $0.17 a year ago.
Not long after Facebook’s disastrous IPO, some wondered if the stock would ever fully recover. Mark Zuckerberg’s company was struggling to break into the mobile realm, and many thought Facebook’s greatest growth period was behind it.
Now that its mobile revenues are expanding exponentially, it opens up a whole new avenue of growth for the social media giant. As it has done over the past six months, that should translate to a rising share price.
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