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Facebook flying high with $2.59 billion in Q4 revenue

The social network continued to conquer on mobile with $1.25 billion in revenue from ads running on smartphones.

The front desk of building 16 at Facebook's Menlo Park headquarters.
Facebook sales climbed 63 percent to $2.59 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013 as the company earned an adjusted 31 cents per share. Revenue for the full year, meanwhile, was $7.87 billion, up 55 percent from 2012, and 2013 net income was $1.5 billion.

For the fourth quarter, analysts were anticipating earnings of 27 cents per share on revenue of $2.34 billion.

With members spending more of their time social networking on smartphones, mobile continues to be Facebook's most-watched metric. In the fourth quarter, the company managed to make 53 percent -- or $1.25 billion -- of its total advertising revenue ($2.34 billion) from mobile. Facebook said it now has 945 million monthly active users on mobile, which is a 39 increase over the year-ago quarter.

For some perspective, Facebook accounted for more than 18 percent share of worldwide mobile ad spending in 2013, which is up from a 5.35 percent share in 2012, according to eMarketer's estimates.

Facebook closed the year with 1.23 billion monthly active users (MAUs) and 757 million daily active users (DAUs). The company's engagement rate, or the ratio of DAUs to MAUs, is staying strong at 61.5 percent. Investors look to this number on a quarterly basis to determine whether Facebook's audience continues to be just as active with the social network. The metric suggests, despite reports of teens fleeing for other networks, that, overall, people are returning to Facebook on a daily basis at record rates.

Payments, the not-quite-as-stellar side of Facebook's business where the company profits primarily from games running on its Web site, contributed $241 million to sales in the fourth quarter.

Facebook's stock is trading up more than 9 percent following the report. The company, which is less than a week away from celebrating its 10-year anniversary, closed down about 3 percent Wednesday at $53.53 per share.