Facebook's stock jumped Wednesday into record territory after the social media giant reported stronger-than-expected results for the first quarter thanks to soaring ad revenue.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the extra money means the company will invest more in new areas of potential growth — including augmented and virtual reality, commerce, business messaging and content creators, such as people who make videos, write newsletters and host podcasts.
“I believe that augmented and virtual reality are going to enable a deeper sense of presence and social connection than any existing platform," he said in a conference call with analysts. He added that this accounts for a “major part" of Facebook's research and development budget growth.
Facebook is also expanding its e-commerce offerings and the use of its messaging services for businesses. As for the creator economy, the company is getting into audio, podcasts and independent publishing similar to Substack.
The company said it earned $9.5 billion, or $3.30 per share, in the January-March period. That's up 94% from $4.9 billion, or $1.71 per share, a year earlier.
Revenue grew 48% to $26.17 billion from $17.44 billion.
Analysts, on average, were expecting earnings of $2.35 per share and revenue of $23.73 billion, according to a poll by FactSet.
The average price of ads on Facebook grew 30% from a year earlier, while the number of ads increased by 12%.