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posted: 7/25/2013 2:00 PM

Facebook shares soar on big 2nd quarter

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  • Facebook Inc. Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg's decision last year to bet big on mobile software is paying off, with sales of ads on wireless devices now on track to surpass revenue from desktop computers.

      Facebook Inc. Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg's decision last year to bet big on mobile software is paying off, with sales of ads on wireless devices now on track to surpass revenue from desktop computers.
    ASSOCIATED PRESS

 
Associated Press

Facebook shares soared Thursday after the social media giant pushed aggressively into mobile advertising and reported much-improved second-quarter revenue and profit.

The stock is trading at levels not seen since shortly after its IPO last year, partly due to nagging questions about whether it could follow users on to the mobile phones and tablets that have upended the technology sector.

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Facebook began showing mobile advertisements for the first time last spring. It reported after the market closed Wednesday that those advertisements accounted for a whopping 41 percent of its total advertising revenue in the most recent quarter.

Overall revenue jumped 53 percent to $1.81 billion for the period. It also reversed a year-ago loss.

Those numbers evaporated doubts about Facebook's ability to capitalize on the mobile market, and trading volume in company shares rocketed Thursday.

Shares jumped more than 24 percent in midday trading to $32.97 and at one point reached as high as $34.

The stock of Facebook Inc., based in and the Menlo, Calif., priced at $38 when the company went public in May 2012.

Goldman Sachs said Thursday that with concern about the company's growth prospects compounding monthly, everyone had been waiting for a breakout quarter.

This quarter, Goldman believes, should help mitigate those fears.

In addition to Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, BMO Capital Markets and Jefferies & Co. raised their price targets.

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