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What’s causing Facebook stock to soar?

Posted at 5:23 PM, Oct 30, 2013
and last updated 2013-10-30 17:23:48-04

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Facebook’s days as a stock market loser feel so far away now.

The social network’s stock rose 15% on Wednesday after blowing away Wall Street’s quarterly sales and profit expectations. This marks the second quarter in a row in which Facebook shares soared double-digit percentages after solidly beating analysts’ forecasts.

Third-quarter sales for the Menlo Park, Calif., based company jumped 60% over the year to more than $2 billion. Excluding one-time charges, Facebook earned $621 million — double the company’s profit during the same quarter last year.

Facebook’s mobile business in particular was very strong. Mobile ads now account for 49% of all Facebook ad revenue, up from 41% last quarter and easily beating analysts’ expectations. That’s impressive growth, considering that Facebook just began serving mobile ads last summer.

Facebook now has 1.2 billion monthly active users overall, and 874 million mobile monthly active users.

The fact that Facebook is finally monetizing those mobile users has driven the stock up 123% over the past year. Before launching mobile ads in August 2012, the company’s lack of mobile revenue kept shares in the doldrums.

Meanwhile, Facebook has also been working to monetize Instagram, the photo-sharing app it purchased last year. Earlier this month, Instagram announced that it will begin placing ads in some U.S. users’ feeds over the next few months.

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