Facebook shares soar thanks to strong mobile ad earnings

Shares of Facebook – the largest social media company soared more than 30% Thursday in their best performance since the company went public last May, and at more than $34 a share are now within range of its much-maligned IPO price of $38.

All this is thanks to the company’s new found strategies for mobile marketing, something that has dogged tech companies since mobile became the key to the future a few years ago.

Facebook blew past expectations with revenue that came in at 1.81 billion dollars for the second quarter, against expectations on Wall Street of 1.62 billion dollars. Even more significant was that mobile ads made up 41 percent of total ad revenue, up from 30 percent in the prior quarter.

Only about a year after redoubling efforts to make money from mobile, Facebook saw its number of mobile users explode 51% during the second quarter.

Even before it went public, Facebook had admitted that its main business challenge was monetizing its billions of page views at a time when an increasing number of its members were accessing the site on mobile devices, whose limited screen space made serving up ads all the more challenging.

“Mobiles are a huge opportunity for Facebook,” Facebook chief executive and founder Mark Zuckerberg said in his first public earnings call a year ago. “That’s why we’re so focused on investing in our priorities of mobile, platform and social ads.”

One year later, and a Mission Accomplished sign should be hanging outside the company’s sprawling Silicon Valley headquarters.

Despite the impressive turnaround, challenges lie ahead. At $34 a share, the stock is fairly valued, Summer says, so the company needs more tricks to get back to $38 a share and beyond.

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