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Facebook's good word on mobile sends shares soaring

The company's stock is up considerably this morning as investors feel a bit more confident in the company, following a stronger-than-expected quarter.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
James Martin/CNET

Facebook investors finally have something to celebrate.

The social network's shares have soared in early trading today, jumping 23 percent to nearly $24. Facebook closed the day yesterday at $19.50.

For a stock that has slid and slid since IPO day in May, the jump marks the biggest single-day gain yet for Facebook.

Investors are responding favorably to Facebook's better-than-expected third-quarter earnings report that came out yesterday. The company revealed that its adjusted earnings per share hit 12 cents during the period that ended September 30, beating analyst estimates by a penny. Facebook's revenue rose 32 percent over the same period last year to end the quarter at $1.26 billion.

The big news, however, was that Facebook did a better job last quarter of monetizing the mobile market. The company revealed that 14 percent of its revenue now comes from mobile devices, indicating that things are finally picking up in that critical business category.

"People who use our mobile products are more engaged, and we believe we can increase engagement even further as we continue to introduce new products and improve our platform," Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said yesterday. "At the same time, we are deeply integrating monetization into our product teams in order to build a stronger, more valuable company."

Poor mobile monetization has stood at the center of Facebook's troubles over the last several months since it went public at $38 a share. Soon after investors learned of Facebook's mobile woes -- the company wasn't even generating revenue from smartphones and tablets until March -- its shares plunged. Zuckerberg has gone out of his way to allay fears, but until yesterday, those efforts did little.

It appears now that investors are starting to believe Zuckerberg, who also announced yesterday that the company's mobile active users hit 640 million at the end of September, jumping 61 percent year over year.