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Facebook reports strong profits, beating Wall Street targets

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By Euronews  with REUTERS
Facebook reports strong profits, beating Wall Street targets

Eleven years after Mark Zuckerberg’s brainchild was born, the world’s biggest Internet social networking site has exceeded Wall Street’s forecasts for earnings and sales.

Fourth quarter profits were up 34 percent at the end of last year compared to the same period in 2013 – amounting to $701 million dollars (621 million euros). Revenue rose by 49 percent.

“We got a lot done in 2014. Our community continues to grow and we’re making progress towards connecting the world,” Zuckerberg said in a statement as the results were announced.

Business has boomed thanks to its mobile ads for smartphones and tablets.

Facebook, which has acquired popular products such as messaging service WhatsApp and photo-sharing app Instagram, said it ended 2014 with 1.39 billion monthly users – 86 percent of them accessing its service on smartphones and other mobile devices.

Its success contrasts with other established Internet companies such as Google and Yahoo, which have struggled as advertisers shift more and more to mobile devices from personal computers.

Despite the flourishing figures, revenue growth was the weakest since the start of 2013, and spending rose faster.

Facebook shares fell about 2.6 percent in after-hours trade after vacillating above and below the closing price.

Many investors are betting that video ads, which Facebook began offering last year, will provide the company’s next area of growth.