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Facebook records double profit in Q2 thanks to online ad sales

FILE - This March 29, 2018 file photo, shows the logo for social media giant Facebook at the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York's Times Square. Facebook said Monday Jan. 6, 2020 that it is banning “deepfake” videos, the false but realistic clips created with artificial intelligence and sophisticated tools, as it steps up efforts to fight online manipulation. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File). (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

Facebook doubled its profit in the second quarter thanks to a massive increase in advertising revenue, especially the average price of ads it delivers to its nearly 3 billion users.

But the company said it doesn’t expect revenue to continue to grow at such a breakneck pace in the second half of the year.

The Menlo Park, California-based company earned $10.39 billion, or $3.61 per share, in the April-June period. That’s up from $5.18 billion, or $1.80 per share, a year earlier.

Read more: Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft report over $50B in profit combined for Q2 2021

Revenue jumped 56% to $28.58 billion from $18.32 billion. Analysts, on average, were expecting earnings of $3.04 per share and revenue of $24.85 billion, according to a poll by FactSet.

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Advertising revenue growth was driven by a 47% year-over-year increase in the average price per ad and a 6% increase in the number of ads shown to people. Facebook said it expects ad prices, not the amount of ads it delivers, to continue to drive growth.

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The company said, as it has before, that it expects challenges in its ability to target ads this year _ including regulatory pressure and Apple’s privacy changes that make it harder for companies like Facebook to track people who can opt out of that form of surveillance.

Facebook had 2.9 billion monthly users as of June, up 7% from a year earlier.

Shares fell $11.77, or 3.2%, to $373.28 in after-hours trading. Earlier in the day, the stock hit an all-time high of $377. 55 in anticipation of the results, so the decline wasn’t unexpected.

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