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Facebook finishes over $40 for its best close yet

The social network's stock finishes at an all-time high on anticipation of even greater revenue from a growing mobile audience.

Jennifer Van Grove Former Senior Writer / News
Jennifer Van Grove covered the social beat for CNET. She loves Boo the dog, CrossFit, and eating vegan. Her jokes are often in poor taste, but her articles are not.
Jennifer Van Grove
2 min read
It's a good day to be Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. James Martin/CNET

Happy Friday to Facebook. With shares worth $40.55 at market close, the social network finished the week in its best position yet since it debuted on the Nasdaq in May 2012.

After a tumultuous 14 months, Facebook shares have been trading in the high $30s ever since the company showed in its second-quarter earnings report that it could profit from members switching their attention from desktop to mobile. Facebook said it made 41 percent of its advertising revenue, or $656 million, from mobile in the second quarter of 2013.

The company's first ever more-than-$40 close seems to be fueled by Wall Street's bullish belief that Facebook can continue to grow mobile revenue. ITG Research helped buoy the stock with a positive report Friday morning anticipating that Facebook's third-quarter North American revenue could come in as high as $920 million.

The social network, which runs a combination of sponsored stories and mobile app installs inside members' mobile News Feeds, also now reportedly gets around 914 minutes of mobile attention from the average visitor each month, up from 508 minutes last year, according to July comScore data reported by AllThingsD. Members' increased attention span on mobile more than makes up for a dwindling interest in desktop, where comScore estimates that the average visitor spent 351 minutes in July, down from 439 minutes in July of last year.

At $40.55 a share, Facebook is just 10 percent shy of its best-ever price of $45, a peak it briefly reached during the first minute of trading, but one that for most of its duration as a public company has seemed completely out of reach.