Facebook Shares Surge on Strong Second Quarter Earnings

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

UPDATED: The Palo Alto-based social network reported that revenue grew 61 percent to $2.9 billion.

Facebook shares were trading up more than 5 percent during after-hours trading Wednesday as a result of the company's strong second quarter results. 

The Palo Alto-based social network reported that quarterly revenue grew 61 percent year-over-year to $2.91 billion. The company also reported adjusted earnings of 42 cents per share, up from 19 cents per share for the same period last year. 

Both revenue and earnings came in ahead of Wall Street expectations. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters predicted revenue of $2.81 billion and adjusted earnings of 32 cents per share. 

Facebook's user base also continued to grow. Monthly active users were up 14 percent to 1.32 billion for the quarter. Mobile MAUs were up 31 percent to 1.07 billion. 

Advertising — a nascent business when the company went public in 2012 — generated $2.68 billion during the quarter, up 67 percent over last year. 

The quarterly results come days after Facebook completed its purchase of Irvine virtual reality startup Oculus VR. CEO Mark Zuckerberg spent some time discussing the acquisition during a conference call with investors, stressing that it's a business that won't pay off for a decade or more. 

He added that the acquisition is all about making sure Facebook is at the forefront of innovation on new computing platforms so that "we can help define what the next set of computing platforms are going to be."

Zuckerberg also addressed the company's new autoplay video ads, a marketing tool that plays 15-second clips automatically. "The biggest thing that we want to make sure is that the quality is really good," he said. 

The financial results have pushed Facebook's shares over $75, an all-time high, during after-hours trading on the Nasdaq. 

Twitter: @NatJarv