Facebook Inc. once again reported growing profit on the strength of its mobile advertising business.
For the latest quarter, the social network reported net income of $2.06 billion, or 71 cents a share, compared with $719 million or 25 cents per share a year ago.
Earnings per share, excluding certain expenses, were 97 cents a share, compared with 50 cents on that basis a year earlier. Analysts, on average, expected Facebook to report 82 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters data,
Revenue rose 59% to $6.43 billion, up from $4.04 billion during the same period a year earlier and compared with the average analyst estimate of $6.02 billion.
Shares jumped 6.6% to $131.45 after hours.
Facebook’s report comes as growth at other major tech companies stalls. Tuesday, Apple Inc. said its quarterly profit fell 27% and revenue fell for a second straight quarter, along with sales of its flagship iPhone. Separately Tuesday, Twitter Inc. reported its smallest quarterly gain in revenue.
Advertisers are turning to Facebook and Instagram, the photo-sharing app bought by Facebook in 2012 for $1 billion, enticed by the amount of time users spend on the site. Marketing-technology company Kenshoo said its clients spent 47% more on Facebook and Instagram ads in the second quarter versus a year ago.
Advertisers are flocking to Facebook because its popularity among users of social networking remains unrivaled. According to research firm GlobalWebIndex, nearly two in three adults with internet access outside of China use the Facebook app every month — double what the firm saw in early 2013.
Facebook is expected to generate more than $25 billion in revenue this year. The most lucrative ads are app-install ads and news feed ads shown in Facebook’s mobile app, each of which will chip in more than $8 billion, according to Credit Suisse analysts.
Facebook has yet to break out revenue for Instagram, but many analysts are optimistic about its efforts. Many analysts predict the app’s revenue will hover around $2.5 billion this year.
Still, Instagram faces stiff competition from disappearing chat app Snapchat, which is quickly making inroads with advertisers. Tuesday, Jefferies analyst Brian Pitz wrote advertisers may divert as much as $150 million from their Instagram budgets to Snapchat in the fourth quarter. In a recent note, Macquarie Research analysts said Snapchat trends were “concerning.”
Another big push at Facebook is video. Facebook is vying for a piece of television ad budgets by promoting video content in its news feed. At a Fortune conference last month, a Facebook executive predicted the social network will be “all video” in five years.
“We’re particularly pleased with our progress in video as we move towards a world where video is at the heart of all our services,” Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said in a statement Wednesday.
The emphasis on video also includes Facebook Live, its live-video product launched widely earlier this year. Last month, The Wall Street Journal reported that Facebook was paying more than $50 million to nearly 140 media companies, and public figures to broadcast live.
Facebook says it eventually plans to allow creators make money from videos posted on Facebook, although no such strategy has publicly emerged yet.