Mike Isaac

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Facebook Jumps Past $40 as Mobile Numbers Surge

Facebook stock vertFacebook’s biggest bulls are growing more confident by the day, and the numbers are showing it.

Shares of the social giant surged past $40 on Friday morning, jumping on news that engagement and time spent on the site per user continues to increase — especially on mobile devices.

“Engagement remains a concern for some, but we continue to believe that Facebook’s strong mobile usage is offsetting desktop declines and that competing services are having only a modest impact on Facebook,” J.P. Morgan analyst Doug Anmuth said in a research note on Thursday evening.

He’s not kidding. According to comScore data released last night, desktop-use minutes on Facebook per unique viewer have declined year over year in July, from 439 last year to 351 last month, a trend seen across much of the industry. But those losses come at the great benefit of mobile usage, which nearly doubled year over year, from 508 per unique viewer in July of 2012 to 914 last month.

That’s a very good thing for the company, considering its new mobile revenue products seem to be working well. As of the last earnings call, Facebook said that nearly half of its ad revenue business now stems from mobile devices, a massive shift in little more than one year after the company’s initial public offering.

Not only did that number shock the Street — which has remained wary of the stock since its debut — it inspired new investor confidence; shares reached an all-time high on Friday morning, at $40.14, up 51 percent since the company reported earnings just a few weeks ago.

As for those competing services, they aren’t taking a massive chunk out of Facebook’s market share at the moment. According to that same comScore data, Facebook’s share of “total Internet minutes spent” grew to 15.8 percent over the past year, while non-Facebook social services like Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter and WhatsApp only hold 2.3 percent of Internet minutes.

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