published on April 28, 2016 - 10:42 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

(AP) — Facebook posted stronger-than-expected results for its first quarter, helped by a growing number of users and higher advertising revenue, especially on mobile devices.

The social media giant on Wednesday reported earnings of $1.51 billion, or 52 cents per share, up from $512 million, or 18 cents per share, in the same period a year earlier. Adjusted earnings were 77 cents per share in the latest quarter results, well above the 62 cents that analysts polled by FactSet were expecting.

Revenue was $5.38 billion, up from $3.54 billion. Analysts had forecast $5.26 billion.

Facebook had 1.65 billion monthly users as of March 31, an increase of 15 percent from a year earlier. Of these, 1.51 billion signed on using mobile devices at least once a month, an increase of 21 percent.

Separately, Facebook also in its results announced that it will create a new class of non-voting stock, known as “Class C capital stock,” designated to let CEO Mark Zuckerberg keep tight reins on the company even as it issues more shares to compensate employees and investors.

Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said that a “big part of Facebook’s success is due to Mark’s leadership.” The proposal, which must still be approved by shareholders, is intended to keep Zuckerberg in an active leadership role at Facebook, the company said.

As in previous quarters, Facebook attributed its success to its mobile advertising strength. Sandberg said that as customers have shifted to mobile, businesses have followed.

Menlo Park, Calif.-based Facebook’s shares jumped $9.82, or 9 percent, to $118.31 in after-hours trading. At that rate, the stock is set to open at an all-time high Thursday.

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