Facebook Inc tops US$200-billion market value

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Facebook Inc.’s market value exceeded US$200 billion to put it among the world’s biggest corporations, as investors bet on the company to capitalize on the future of mobile advertising.

Facebook shares rose 0.8% to US$77.89 at Monday’s close in New York, valuing the company at US$201.6 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That made it the 22nd- largest company in the world, behind Verizon Communications Inc. and ahead of Toyota Motor Corp.

The stock has jumped 9.3% since July 23, compared with a 0.7% increase in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, after Facebook reported a 61% increase in second-quarter sales to US$2.91 billion. Mobile promotions accounted for 62% of ad sales, up from 59% in the prior period.

The gains are a far cry from Facebook’s May 2012 initial public offering, when a lack of mobile revenue led to a plunge in its stock. Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg, the world’s 13th-richest person according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, has made ads on smartphones and tablets Facebook’s core business and is building on that foundation with a mobile network to spread the company’s ads across the Web and wireless devices.

If they can continue to grow their mobile ads, they will have a sustainable demand for their stock

“This latest rally stems from their last earnings announcement, when they reported higher demand and sales numbers for their mobile ads,” said Jeffrey Sica, who oversees more than US$1.5 billion in assets as president of Sica Wealth Management, in an e-mail. “If they can continue to grow their mobile ads, they will have a sustainable demand for their stock.”

The stock’s rise has boosted Zuckerberg’s wealth to US$34.5 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. The CEO, 30, who co-founded Facebook in 2004, owns shares that give him 61.6% of the voting power in the company, according to a March regulatory filing.

Facebook shares had already jumped 81% in the 12 months through Sept. 5, compared with a 21% increase for the S&P 500. The social network’s market capitalization exceeds technology stalwarts like International Business Machines Corp. and Oracle Corp., though its sales, estimated at US$12.2 billion this year, are a fraction of those at the more established companies. Investors are betting on growth, with 43 of 53 analysts recommending buying the stock, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Facebook Inc.’s market value exceeded US$200 billion to put it among the world’s biggest corporations, as investors bet on the company to capitalize on the future of mobile advertising.

Facebook shares rose 0.8% to US$77.89 at Monday’s close in New York, valuing the company at US$201.6 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That made it the 22nd- largest company in the world, behind Verizon Communications Inc. and ahead of Toyota Motor Corp.

The stock has jumped 9.3% since July 23, compared with a 0.7% increase in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, after Facebook reported a 61% increase in second-quarter sales to US$2.91 billion. Mobile promotions accounted for 62% of ad sales, up from 59% in the prior period.

The gains are a far cry from Facebook’s May 2012 initial public offering, when a lack of mobile revenue led to a plunge in its stock. Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg, the world’s 13th-richest person according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, has made ads on smartphones and tablets Facebook’s core business and is building on that foundation with a mobile network to spread the company’s ads across the Web and wireless devices.

If they can continue to grow their mobile ads, they will have a sustainable demand for their stock

“This latest rally stems from their last earnings announcement, when they reported higher demand and sales numbers for their mobile ads,” said Jeffrey Sica, who oversees more than US$1.5 billion in assets as president of Sica Wealth Management, in an e-mail. “If they can continue to grow their mobile ads, they will have a sustainable demand for their stock.”

The stock’s rise has boosted Zuckerberg’s wealth to US$34.5 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. The CEO, 30, who co-founded Facebook in 2004, owns shares that give him 61.6% of the voting power in the company, according to a March regulatory filing.

Facebook shares had already jumped 81% in the 12 months through Sept. 5, compared with a 21% increase for the S&P 500. The social network’s market capitalization exceeds technology stalwarts like International Business Machines Corp. and Oracle Corp., though its sales, estimated at US$12.2 billion this year, are a fraction of those at the more established companies. Investors are betting on growth, with 43 of 53 analysts recommending buying the stock, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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