Home Technology Facebook’s market value surges $38 billion as mobile ad sales soar

Facebook’s market value surges $38 billion as mobile ad sales soar

A 3D plastic representation of the Facebook logo is seen in this illustration in Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina, May 13, 2015. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

Facebook Inc’s (FB.O) market value soared by $38 billion in morning trading on Thursday, vaulting the company ahead of Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O), after the social networking service’s quarterly results blew away expectations on every key measure.

Facebook’s stock jumped more than 14 percent to $107.95 after the company reported a blockbuster quarter on Wednesday, pushing the company’s market capitalization over $300 billion.

That made it the fourth most valuable technology company, overtaking Amazon, which was valued at about $290 billion ahead of its results later on Thursday.

At least 22 brokerages raised price targets on Facebook’s stock, with most analysts focusing on a far better-than-expected the 81 percent jump in revenue from mobile ads.

Facebook’s strong quarter contrasted with a disappointing performance by Apple Inc (AAPL.O), which is worth about $519 billion, making it the most valuable U.S. company.

“FB has built a remarkable ad platform that enables marketers of all stripes to serve targeted ads to nearly every consumer on the planet,” Jefferies analysts wrote.

Facebook said it had 1.59 billion monthly active users as of Dec. 31 – about one in every four people in the world.

Mobile ad revenue accounted for 80 percent of the total ad revenue in the quarter compared with 69 percent a year earlier.

“FB saw nothing that indicated macro weakness, and we think results bode well for other online ad names like Alphabet (GOOGL.O),” Jefferies analysts added.

Google-owner Alphabet, valued at $500 billion and closing in on Apple, will report results on Monday.

The median stock price target of the analysts tracked by Reuters was $138 on Thursday, suggesting that Facebook could add $123 billion in market value over the next 12 months.

Piper Jaffray was the most bullish, raising its target to $170 from $155.

“We believe Facebook is well positioned to increase its share of digital ad spend as well as to help grow the overall category given its reach and effectiveness for advertisers,” Goldman Sachs analysts said in a client note.

Facebook’s photo-sharing service Instagram, in particular, is poised to become a material contributor to revenue in 2016, the analysts said.

source: Reuters by Sayantani Ghosh in Bengaluru