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Facebook earnings, revenue beat; stock jumps

Facebook delivered quarterly earnings and revenue Wednesday that surpassed analysts' expectations.

After the earnings announcement, the company's shares rose as much as 9 percent in after-hours trading.

What is Facebook stock doing now? (Click here to get the latest quotes.)

Facebook posted fourth-quarter earnings excluding items of 31 per share, up from 17 cents a share in the year-earlier period.

Revenue increased to $2.59 billion from $1.59 billion a year earlier.

Chris Ratcliffe | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Facebook said revenue from advertising came in at $2.34 billion, 76 percent more year over year, with mobile ad revenue accounting for about 53 percent of the total for the fourth quarter.

Analysts had expected the company to report earnings excluding items of 27 cents a share on $2.33 billion in revenue, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.

Facebook said its number of mobile active users was up 39 percent year-over-year, to 945 million as of Dec. 31, beating analysts' expectations of 919 million.

Facebook has recently been taking steps to allow more real-time conversation, on concerns that it may be losing appeal for young users.

A recent report from iStrategyLabs found that the number of U.S. teens 13 to 17 on Facebook had fallen 25.3 percent from its 2011 report, while that of users 55 and older had risen 80.4 percent.

Last week, Princeton did a study that stated Facebook's growth can be compared with that of an infectious disease—spreading quickly and dying suddenly. The study predicted that the number of Facebook users would drop by 80 percent between 2015 and 2017.

(Read more: 4 social media strategies to boost your business)

Soon after, Facebook addressed the report with a dismissive blog on its website.

The company also recently announced plans to add a feature called Trending in an effort to get users more involved in real-time conversations about events, similar to Twitter's Trending Topics.

Facebook's new algorithm will highlight subjects that have a sharp increase in popularity, allowing people to "find interesting and relevant conversations."

The company isn't offering any ad products around Trending now but most likely will, just as Twitter has with Promoted Trends.

—By CNBC.com

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