Facebook shares pop after revenue jumps 29%

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Shares of Facebook Inc. jumped 4% in after-hours trading Wednesday after the company announced third-quarter results that soundly beat analysts’ earnings estimates and topped revenue forecasts.

The Menlo Park, Calif.-based company FB, -0.56% reported third-quarter net income of $6.09 billion, or $2.12 a share, in the quarter, compared with $5.14 billion, or $1.76 a share, in the year-ago period.

Revenue jumped 29% to $17.65 billion from $13.73 billion a year ago. Advertising sales accounted for 98% of total revenue, or $17.38 billion.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet had estimated $1.91 a share on revenue of $17.37 billion.

“We had a good quarter and our community and business continue to grow,” Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said in a statement. “We are focused on making progress on major social issues and building new experiences that improve people’s lives around the world.”

Facebook also announced the departure of board member Susan Desmond-Hellmann, CEO of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, after six years for personal and health reasons. Her replacement to the seven-member board is expected “over the coming months,” Facebook said in a filing.

Read more: Facebook earnings: What distractions? Another strong quarter is expected

Monthly active users (MAUs), a key barometer of the company’s growth, improved 8% to 2.45 billion, as FactSet analysts predicted.

About 2.8 billion people use Facebook, and its properties WhatsApp, Instagram, and Messenger each month, Facebook said.

But not all the numbers are rosy.

Americans are spending 26% less time on Facebook than they did two years ago, and they’re increasingly using more social networks as an alternative, according to a new study by market researcher Active Inc.

Facebook users spent on average of nearly 13 hours a month on the platform in 2017; today, that figure is down to 9:28 hours, said Active. At the same time, social media users in the U.S. belong to 5.8 different social media networks; by 2023, it should be 10.

Facebook’s stock is up 44% this year, while the S&P 500 index SPX, +0.33%   has gained 21%.

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