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Facebook Earnings Shatter Wall Street Expectations

by Everett Rosenfeld, CNBC /  / Updated  / Source: CNBC.com
Image: The sun rises behind the entrance sign to Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park before the company's IPO launch,
The sun rises behind the entrance sign to Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park before the company's IPO launch, May 18, 2012.Beck Diefenbach / Reuters, file

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Tech giant Facebook crushed analyst estimates when it reported first-quarter results on Wednesday.

The company reported adjusted first quarter earnings of 77 cents per share on revenue of about $5.38 billion. Analysts had expected Facebook to report earnings of about 62 cents per share on $5.26 billion in revenue, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.

In fact, Facebook's earnings per share figure was 10 percent better than the highest estimate of 41 Wall Street analysts.

Shares in the company jumped about 7 percent in after-hours trading following the announcement.

Facebook also said it was proposing the creation of new class C shares. If the proposal is approved, shareholders would get two C shares for each class A or class B share they own. This would potentially allow Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to sell some of his shares while still maintaining control of the company.

More from CNBC: Watch Mark Zuckerberg's First-Ever CNBC Interview in 2004

"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 its earnings release.

The adoption of the proposal is subject to the approval of Facebook shareholders at its 2016 annual meeting of Stockholders in June, the company said.

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