Facebook Easily Beats Earnings Expectations in Second Quarter

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

Ad revenues are pouring in across Facebook's portfolio of apps.

There's no question that video is the future of Facebook.

The social network's big push into video-forward services Facebook Live and Facebook Instant Articles netted revenue of $6.4 billion and adjusted earnings of $0.97 per share in the second quarter, crushing Wall Street's estimates and pushing shares past $123 in Wednesday trading, an all-time high.

Analysts were expecting adjusted earnings of $0.81 per share on $6 billion in revenue. The surprise cash cow was mobile ad revenue of $5.42 billion, compared to the $4.84 billion expected.

"We're really excited about what people are producing and consuming on video," Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg said Wednesday on a call to investors.

During the last three months, 800,000 people tuned in on the platform to watch BuzzFeed blow up a watermelon with rubber bands; the Chewbacca mom became an overnight sensation; and the fatal shooting of Philando Castile sparked protests across the U.S.

Facebook's portfolio of apps, meanwhile, continues to grow. During the second quarter, Messenger hit the billion user mark, making it ripe for major monetization, according to CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Subsidiary photo-sharing app Instagram reached 500 million users.

"Video continues to do well," Goldman Sachs analyst Heather Bellini wrote in a Wednesday note to investors. "We continue to hear positive traction on Instagram."

Goldman Sachs expects Facebook stock to hit $142 within 12 months. Shares were surging in after-hours trading Wednesday.

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