Facebook profit triples on mobile growth

By: Matt McGovern Email
By: Matt McGovern Email
Mobile ads account for 59 percent of its advertising revenue.

Facebook has figured out mobile.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) - Facebook has figured out mobile.

The social networking giant said Wednesday that mobile ads accounted for 59 percent of its advertising revenue in the first three months of the year, up from 30 percent a year prior.

That's good news for Facebook, because Web users flocking to mobile devices and leaving their desktops behind. January marked the first time ever that Americans used smartphone and tablet apps more than PCs to access the Internet, according to comScore.

Overall, Facebook reported $2.5 billion in first-quarter sales, up 72 percent versus a year ago. The company recorded $642 million in profit, triple what it recorded a year earlier. Both sales and earnings came in ahead of analyst expectations, sending shares up 2 percent in after-hours trading.

It's been a busy year for the company, which bought mobile messaging service WhatsApp for a whopping $19 billion in February and snatched up virtual reality developer Oculus VR last month for $2 billion.

Both purchases reflected a recognition that desktop computing is rapidly becoming secondary to smartphones and tablets when accessing the Internet.

As part of its earnings announcement Wednesday, Facebook announced that chief financial officer David Ebersman will step down on June 1. He'll be replaced by David Wehner, the company's vice president for corporate finance and business planning.

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