Facebook sales, driven by mobile, shoot up nearly 60%

Roughly two-thirds of total revenue came from mobile ads

Credit: Image credit: IDG News Service/Zach Miners

Facebook continues to reap rewards in mobile, growing its crucial ads business in large part due to ads placed on smaller screens, the company reported Tuesday.

Total sales for the third quarter ended Sept. 30 amounted to $3.2 billion, up 59 percent from the same period last year, and beating consensus analyst expectations of $3.12 billion, as polled by Thomson Reuters.

Roughly two-thirds of sales, or 66 percent, came from ads placed on mobile devices, Facebook reported, up from just under half of all revenue coming from mobile a year ago.

Facebook's ability to monetize its site with ads on smaller screens was in previous years a concern to investors, but the company has demonstrated considerable progress there.

Facebook also reported decent gains in growing its user base, a critical element in attracting and retaining advertisers. The number of users who logged in at least once a month clocked in at 1.35 billion, Facebook said, up 14 percent.

Meanwhile, the number of users who logged in daily -- another important metric -- rose by 19 percent to 864 million.

Facebook stock was at around $79.99 in after hours trading following its earnings report, down slightly from its close of $80.77, possibly signaling lingering investor concerns over Facebook's progress toward growing its audience.

Facebook nearly doubled its net income for the third quarter, to $806 million.

The company's adjusted earnings per share was $0.43, above analyst estimates of $0.40.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg, in Facebook's announcement, called the results "strong," showing a "good quarter."

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