Facebook posts strong 4Q as company closes gap with Google

FILE - A Jan. 12, 2012 file photo, shows the Facebook "like" icon displayed outside of Facebook's headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif.

Facebook is growing rapidly as it enters adolescence, putting it in a position to challenge Google as the Internet's most powerful company.

Facebook's fourth-quarter report released Wednesday provides the latest gauge of the social-networking company's impressive strides.

The results marked the first time that Facebook's quarterly revenue has surpassed $5 billion. The performance surpassed analyst estimates.

Facebook's earnings also more than doubled to $1.56 billion, even as the Menlo Park, California, company invests heavily in virtual reality, Internet access in remote parts of the world and a mobile ad network for services other than its own.

The company's stock surged by more than 6 percent after the report came out.
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