Jan 29 - Facebook's mobile ad business is surging, helping to lift its quarterly earnings, sending its stock higher in after-hours trading. Bobbi Rebell reports.
Calling all Facebook doubters - the social network handily beat earnings targets. Thanks in large part to its hundreds of millions of mobile device toting devoted users. 4th quarter revenue jumped 63 percent. Mobile ads represented a whopping 53 percent of total ad revenue. Morningstar's Rick Summer: SOUNDBITE: RICK SUMMER, EQUITY ANALYST, MORNINGSTAR (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Here we have a very big milestone for Facebook. About more than half of the quarterly revenues they actually generated came from mobile. So not only proving that you can make money in mobile, but Facebook is uniquely positioned to really mobilize a lot of that spending." Facebook now has 1.23 billion monthly users- with 945 million accessing the service on a smartphone or tablet. Facebook says they have seen increasing demand from marketers for mobile ads, and that their improved tools show the effectiveness of those ads. Shares of Facebook jumped in after hours trading on the news- as investors applauded the better than expected report. SOUNDBITE: RICK SUMMER, EQUITY ANALYST, MORNINGSTAR (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Their ability to monetize is strictly being driven by the fact that users want to go and use that application and that is very compelling as long as we think users are going to continue to use that application 5 and 10 years from now and ultimately that ends up being the largest question on the stock." The move in mobile all the more remarkable considering Facebook had virtually no revenue from mobile as recently as 2012.