Facebook’s mobile ads fuel big profits

Photograph by Andrew Harrer — Bloomberg via Getty Images

Facebook more than doubled its profits in the second quarter as the social media giant continued to reap the rewards of a fast growing mobile ad business.

In an earnings release Wednesday, Facebook (FB) reported quarterly profits of $791 million, more than double the same period a year earlier, or 30 cents per share.

Facebook’s revenue grew 61%, to $2.9 billion, topping Wall Street’s estimate of $2.8 billion.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg expressed his satisfaction with the company’s second-quarter results, saying in statement that “our community has continued to grow, and we see a lot of opportunity ahead as we connect the rest of the world.”

Nearly $2.7 billion of the company’s revenue this past quarter came from advertising, with roughly 62% of that total coming from mobile ads. That percentage is up from last year’s second quarter, when mobile ad sales made up 41% of Facebook’s advertising revenue. Facebook also said the number of its monthly active users increased 14% year-over-year to 1.32 billion, while its mobile monthly active users jumped 31% to 1.07 billion.

Researcher eMarketer said in March that Facebook managed to increase its share of the $18 billion U.S. mobile ad industry to 17.5% last year from just 5.4% in 2012. Zuckerberg’s company is expected to keep expanding its share of the market this year as the social media site continues to chip away at rival Google’s (GOOG) own hold on the market. The online search giant held about half of the mobile ad market in the U.S. last year, but eMarketer expects that stake to shrink this year.

Facebook’s stock closed Wednesday up 2.9%, before the earnings report. In after-hours trading, following the results, the company’s shares rose another 4% to just over $74.

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