NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Facebook (FB) stock is spiking by 14.61% to $108.25 in pre-market trading on Thursday, as the social network easily beat estimates for 2015 fourth quarter earnings and revenue after yesterday's market close.
Revenue soared by 52% to $5.84 billion for the quarter, while adjusted earnings rose 46% to 79 cents per share from the year-ago period.
Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had forecast for earnings of 68 cents per share on revenue of $5.36 billion.
Facebook's strong financial results were driven by growth in mobile advertising, which now makes up roughly 80% of the company's revenue.
Mobile advertising revenue was $4.51 billion for the quarter, while total revenue was $5.64 billion. Both mobile and total advertising revenue beat analysts expectations of $4.09 billion and $5.15 billion, respectively.
"If you're an advertiser and you want to reach mass scale, you only have two options: Facebook and Google," James Cakmak, an analyst at Monness Crespi Hardt & Co., told Bloomberg. "Facebook remains the fastest-growing platform for advertiser spending, and as they open up new channels for users, that won't change."
Analysts have reacted positively to the earnings release, with at least 13 firms raising their price targets on the stock, Reuters notes. Piper Jaffray was the most bullish, and upped its price target to $170 from $155.
The median price target on Facebook stock is now $140, which implies that the company could add $129 billion in market value during the next 12 months, Reuters adds.
Insight from TheStreet Research Team:
Jim Cramer mentioned Facebook in a recent Real Money post. Here is a snippet of what Cramer had to say about the stock:
How did Facebook, which initially seemed so mobile-unfriendly, become such a powerhouse for users and therefore advertisers? Simple, Zuckerberg says "I told all of our product teams when they come in for reviews really just come in with mobile. If you come in and try to show me desktop product I am going to kick you out and you have to come in and show me a mobile product."
All of these changes have created a stock that has gone from relatively expensive at $94 to somewhat cheap at $110, because it now seems that $5.50 could be in the cards for 2018, the length of time you should look at when creating a price to earnings multiple. Who wouldn't pay 20x earnings for this monster?
And that's how you get to the best news story of the year, frankly, if not the decade. Facebook could, like Netflix (NFLX), change the way we view entertainment, or Google (GOOGL) change the way we research, or Growth Seeker portfolio holding Amazon.com(AMZN) change the way we buy, which is why it is now the cheapest of the high-growth FANG.
-Jim Cramer "Cramer: 7 Reasons Why Facebook Is the Best Story of the Year" Originally Published on 1/28/2016 on Real Money.
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Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates the stock as a "buy" with a ratings score of B+.
Facebook's strengths such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, good cash flow from operations, growth in earnings per share and expanding profit margins outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.
You can view the full analysis from the report here: FB
TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this article's author.