Mobile-advertising revenues lift Facebook stock to IPO level

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Shares of Facebook rose more than 3 percent to a new high Wednesday, bringing them back to a level not seen since May 18, 2012, the day of Facebook's initial public offering.

The stock's new same-day high of $45.07 is the latest milestone in Facebook's yearlong recovery from fears that it would struggle to make money from mobile users at a time when young people go online mostly through their smartphones.

The sentiment changed completely July 24 when Menlo Park-based Facebook said its mobile-advertising revenue grew 75 percent in the second quarter, trouncing analyst targets and delivering the company's strongest revenue growth since the third quarter of 2011.

The stock has risen 67 percent since then.

“The second quarter was the turning point when a lot of their work over the last year with the newsfeed came through,” said JMP Securities analyst Ronald Josey, referring to the format of Facebook updates that also carry mobile ads.

“Mobile is very hard to get audience at scale and Facebook is proving that it's one of those places where advertisers can go to reach eyeballs,” Josey said.

Facebook has said it expects sales and user growth for its mobile apps to outpace its desktop website.

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