Facebook Inc (FB) Jumps 5 Percent Over S&P Index Inclusion

The stock price of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) jumped by almost 5% to $51.83 per share on report that the social network giant will be included in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.

The social network giant will replace Teradyne, Inc (NYSE:TER) in the benchmark index after the trading hours on December 20. The inclusion of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) demonstrates a vote of confidence on the company after recording profits this year.

Over the past 52-week range, the shares of the Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) rose from $22.67 to $54.83 a share. Its management team led by CEO Mark Zuckerberg succeeded in maneuvering the social network giant towards profitability. The company improved its mobile monetization and launched different products and services that boosted its advertising revenues. Currently, Facebook has approximately $127 billion market capitalization.

Jason Benowitz of Roosevelt Investment Group commented,  “Including Facebook in the S&P 500 represents that the social network is here to stay and it will remain relevant to users, advertisers and developers for the foreseeable future. As the company proved it could adapt to mobile and continue to capture users, it also proved that it has staying power.”

During the third quarter, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) reported a 60% increase in revenue to $2.02 billion and $0.12 non-GAAP earnings per share. Its mobile advertising revenue represented 49% of its total advertising revenue. The company’s mobile monthly actives users (MAUs) increased by 45% year-over-year to 874 million. Its monthly active users (MAUs) rose 18% year-over-year to 1.18 billion.

Daniel Ernst, analyst at Hudson Square Research said, “Facebook is absolutely established, with a billion users worldwide, some of the highest operating margin metrics, and they’re still growing.”

In a separate report, Instagram, the photo sharing service of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) launched a private, chat like messaging service. The new Instagram Direct messaging service will be available on iPhones and Android devices.

In a blog post, Instagram wrote, “We built Instagram Direct to feel natural to the Instagram experience you already know. When you open Instagram, you’ll now see a new icon in the top right corner of your home feed…”

Technology observers believe that Instagram Direct will strengthen the competitiveness of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) against social network rivals such as Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR), Snapchat among others.

In a note to investors, Sternee Agee analyst, Arvind Bhatia opined, “The new feature will help Instagram to directly compete with Snapchat.” He added that the latest move of the social network giant is not surprising.