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Why Facebook Stock Surged Today

By Joe Tenebruso - Apr 29, 2021 at 3:26PM

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Demand for digital ads is booming.

What happened

Shares of Facebook (META 5.10%) jumped on Thursday after the company delivered blockbuster first-quarter results. As of 3 p.m. EDT today, the stock price was up more than 7%.  

So what

Revenue soared 48% year over year to $26.2 billion. Facebook's net income, meanwhile, rocketed 94% to $9.5 billion, or $3.30 per share.

A staggering 3.5 billion people now use at least one of the social media king's services, a powerhouse group that includes Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger -- and, of course, Facebook's namesake platform.

A person is pointing to an upwardly sloping digital stock chart.

Shareholders cheered Facebook's impressive first-quarter growth metrics. Image source: Getty Images.

While advertising accounts for 97% of Facebook's sales, its "other" revenue also caught investors' attention. This segment, which includes the company's augmented- and virtual-reality initiatives, saw its revenue leap 146% to $732 million.

Now what

Facebook's massive ad business benefited as more people sought ways to stay in touch with friends and family during the pandemic. With billions of people spending even more time on its platform, businesses were willing to pay 30% more per ad on average to market their wares on Facebook's sites.

However, management warned that revenue growth could decelerate in the second half of the year. Apple's recent privacy changes to its iOS mobile operating system are expected to make ad targeting more difficult and, potentially, less lucrative.

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