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Facebook's Healthy Earnings Beat Drives Optimism About Its Prospects

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Facebook's (FB) top and bottom line beat lifted shares Thursday, driving optimism about the stock. 

Shares rose 4.39% to $188.25 a share Thursday after the social networking giant reported third quarter earnings after the close on Wednesday.

Facebook earned $2.12 a share in the third quarter, beating expectations of $1.91 and growing 19% year-over-year. Revenue was $17.65 billion, versus estimates of $17.37 billion and growing 29%. Daily active users increased 9% across its major platforms. And average revenue per user (ARPU) beat expectations, coming in at $7.26 versus expectations of $7.09. 

"Facebook's strong quarter showed that all the bad press and the bashing that they've been getting in Washington D.C. that the juggernaut that they are continues to roll," said Nelson Wang, TheStreet's tech editor. "Despite all the concerns about Facebook the company continues to perform well." Wang did mention that CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the next year could be a difficult one from a publicity standpoint, but that the company remains on track to hit earnings targets. 

The stock is now up 45% year-to-date, but Jeff Marks, analyst for Jim Cramer's Action Alerts Plus portfolio broke down why there's more upside from here. 

"I thought it was a great quarter -- really loved the engagement trends," Marks said. "[I] thought the average revenue per user growth was really strong, so I think we can continue to see that into next year and when I'm looking at 2020 earnings, I think this is being priced at a 21 multiple [forward earnings]. You're getting growth at a reasonable price."

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