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Facebook's earnings nearly triple as revenue grows sharply in first quarter

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.

It was the fourth quarter in a row that Facebook beat forecasts as it continues to barrel ahead in mobile advertising at a time when nearly 80 percent of its users are accessing it on smartphones and other portable gadgets.

The world's biggest online social network said Wednesday that it earned US$642 million, or 25 cents per share, in the January-March quarter, up from US$219 million, or 9 cents per share, in the same period a year ago.

Adjusted earnings, which exclude stock compensation expenses and other costs, were US$885 million, or 34 cents per share, in the latest quarter.

Facebook's revenue was US$2.5 billion, up 71 percent from US$1.46 billion in the same period a year ago.

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