As Facebook continues to dominate the social media landscape, investors are scrambling to buy company stock. On Wednesday afternoon, the company unveiled its latest piece of positive news, a stellar second-quarter earnings report, which showed huge gains in revenue and profitability. That announcement, released after normal trading hours, sent Facebook shares up 5% by the opening of markets on Thursday morning.
Those gains were a tremendous boon to Zuckerberg’s personal fortune. His net worth rose $3.8 billion through 11 AM Eastern Time on Thursday, sending him past Mexico’s Carlos Slim Helu to become the planet’s fifth-richest person. He is now worth an estimated $72.7 billion—a record high—according to Forbes’ real-time rankings of the world’s billionaires.
In its quarterly report, Facebook beat analyst expectations on profitability and on revenue, the ninth straight quarter it has done so. Between April 1 and June 30, total revenues were $9.32 billion, a 45% increase over last year’s second quarter. That surge was driven largely by mobile advertising. Profits also rose substantially; the company posted earnings per share of $1.32, a 69% gain from the same period in 2016.
In all, Facebook shares are up more than 50% since January, equivalent to a market cap increase of nearly $170 billion. . That success has come while social media rivals Twitter and Snap continue to languish on public markets.
Zuckerberg, 33, founded Facebook in 2004 as a 19-year-old student at Harvard. He later dropped out as sophomore to focus full-time on the startup. The business, which began as a small social networking platform for Ivy League universities, now has more than 2 billion monthly active users.