Facebook's Mobile Ads Surge, CFO to Step Down

Facebook reported quarterly earnings that beat analyst estimates, while it announced its chief financial officer is stepping down.
Facebook reported quarterly earnings that beat analyst estimates, while it announced its chief financial officer is stepping down.DADO RUVIC / Reuters file

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/ Source: Reuters

Facebook's mobile advertising business continued to accelerate in the first three months of the year, helping the Internet social networking company top Wall Street's revenue target.

Shares of Facebook were up nearly 3 percent at $63.05 in after-hours trading Wednesday.

Facebook's mobile ads surged as the company beat quarterly estimates.DADO RUVIC / Reuters

Facebook said that mobile ads represented 59 percent of its ad revenue in the first quarter, up from 30 percent in the year-ago period. Facebook's overall revenue grew 72 percent year-on-year to $2.5 billion in the first quarter, above the $2.36 billion expected by analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Facebook also announced that Finance Chief David Ebersman is resigning. Ebersman, who will remain with the company through September, will be replaced by David Wehner, Facebook's vice president of corporate finance and business planning.

"Any time you see a CFO, a fairly major person in terms of a company and obviously one that's only been public a couple of years now, change up and now have a necessarily designated successor already in place, it does raise questions as to what's actually going on with the numbers," David Garrity, principal at GVA Research, told CNBC's "Closing Bell."

The world's No.1 Internet social network said its total number of monthly active users reached 1.28 billion as of March 31, with 1.01 billion of those users accessing its service on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.

The company said it earned $642 million in net income, or 25 cents a share, in the first quarter, versus $219 million, or 9 cents a share, in the year ago period. Excluding certain items Facebook said it earned 34 cents a share in the first quarter.

The company plans to enter the mobile payments market and has already been authorized as an e-money dealer by Ireland's central bank, according to a story originally reported by the Financial Times. The company seems to be positioning itself across Europe as a facilitator of remittances for immigrants and expatriates.

The social network began its acquisition of virtual reality gear maker Oculus at the end of March for $2 billion, and U.S. antitrust regulators approved the deal on Wednesday.

-Reuters and CNBC.com