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Investors like Facebook’s 1Q results

Queenie Wong
San Jose Mercury News

Menlo Park, Calif. — Facebook on Wednesday reported first-quarter earnings and sales that beat Wall Street’s expectations, sending its stock up more than 6 percent in after-hours trading.

The social media giant reported sales totaling $5.3 billion from January to March, which was above the $5.2 billion in revenue that analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters estimated. Mobile ads made up most of the sales in the first quarter, which increased by 52 percent compared to the same period last year.

Facebook earned 77 cents per share, beating expectations of 62 cents per share in the first quarter. Including certain expenses, the tech firm reported earnings of 52 cents per share. Analysts expected earnings of 41 cents per share.

“We had a great start to the year,” said Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and CEO in a statement. “We’re focused on our 10-year roadmap to give everyone in the world the power to share anything they want with anyone.”

The tech firm also said that it has proposed a new class of stock non-voting capital stock, known as Class C capital stock. The proposal still needs to be approved at the annual meeting of stockholders scheduled on June 20.

“This proposal is designed to create a capital structure that will, among other things, allow us to remain focused on Mr. Zuckerberg’s long-term vision for our company and encourage Mr. Zuckerberg to remain in an active leadership role at Facebook,” the company said in a statement.

Zuckerberg recently announced that he and wife Priscilla Chan planned to give away 99 percent of their Facebook shares, which is valued at more than $45 billion, to charitable causes.

“I’ll be able to keep founder control of Facebook so we can continue to build for the long term, and Priscilla and I will be able to give our money to fund important work sooner,” he wrote in a note on Wednesday.

Since Facebook was founded in 2004, the company has been investing in messaging, delivering Internet to developing countries, virtual reality, artificial intelligence and more.

“Facebook still has many growth levers left to pull, not least of which is video advertising,” wrote Mark Mahaney, an analyst with RBC Capital Markets.

The company’s stock closed slightly up 0.12 percent at $108.89 per share. As of March, the social media company had 1.65 billion users.