Facebook’s Ad Business Posts Another Strong Quarter

Facebook Inc. posted sharp growth in quarterly revenue and profit, fueled by robust digital ad spending, as it continues to face scrutiny over the size and influence of its platforms.

The social-media company’s second-quarter earnings report Wednesday showed that advertisers’ greater focus over the past year on reaching consumers online continues to be a tailwind. Analysts also said the parent of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp continued to benefit from a rise in consumers making purchases from brands directly through its apps.

Facebook’s profit doubled from a year earlier to $10.39 billion, or $3.61 a share, soundly beating analysts’ expectations. Revenue rose 56% to $29.08 billion.

However, shares fell more than 3% in after-hours trading as Facebook said it expects revenue growth to slow in the second half of this year. The company’s stock has gained about 22% over the past three months through Wednesday’s market close, compared with roughly 5% the S&P 500 index.

Facebook has previously warned that the impact of Apple Inc.’s privacy changes in its iOS operating system could crimp the company’s ad-targeting capabilities. Wednesday, the company said the changes could have a more significant impact in the current quarter than the previous one, as more people update their iPhones and iPads.