NEW YORK — Facebook’s earnings nearly tripled and revenue grew sharply in the first quarter, surpassing Wall Street’s expectations thanks to an 82 percent increase in advertising revenue.
The world’s biggest online social network said Wednesday that it earned $642 million, or 25 cents per share, in the January-to-March quarter, up from $219 million, or 9 cents per share, in the same period a year ago. Facebook’s revenue was $2.5 billion, up 71 percent from $1.46 billion in the same period a year ago.
Shares of Menlo Park, Calif.-based Facebook climbed more than 3.8 percent to $63.70 in extended trading after the results came out. The stock had closed down 2.7 percent at $61.36 amid a broader market decline.
There were 1.28 billion monthly Facebook users at the end of March, up 15 percent from a year earlier. The number of users who log in every day increased 21 percent to 802 million.
The number of Facebook users who log in at least once a month using mobile devices climbed 34 percent to surpass 1 billion for the first time.
Daily mobile users reached 609 million, up 43 percent from a year ago.
Advertising revenue totaled $2.27 billion. Of this, mobile advertising accounted for $1.34 billion, or 59 percent. That is a bigger share than in the fourth quarter of 2013, the first time mobile accounted for more than half of Facebook’s ad revenue, at 53 percent.
Facebook also said its chief financial officer, David Ebersman, is leaving June 1 after five years. He will be replaced by David Wehner, currently vice president of corporate finance and business planning.