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CORRECTED-UPDATE 2-Facebook quarterly revenue beats expectations

(Corrects amount of expenses in paragraph 8 to $70 billion to $73 billion instead of $70 million to $73 million)

April 28 (Reuters) - Facebook Inc beat market expectations for quarterly revenue on Wednesday, powered by higher ad spending by businesses during a pandemic-induced surge in online traffic.

Shares of Facebook rose 6.6% in trading after the bell.

Total revenue, which primarily consists of ad sales, rose to $26.17 billion in the first quarter ended March 31, beating analysts’ average estimate of $23.67 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

The world’s largest social media company said in its outlook that it expected second-quarter revenue growth to be stable or grow moderately, but warned that the third- and fourth-quarter growth rates could “significantly” decline when compared with past periods of increasingly strong growth.

It cited that a new pop-up privacy notification from Apple Inc could hurt the business during the second quarter.

Facebook’s monthly active users rose 10% to 2.85 billion, matching analyst expectations.

Net income for the first quarter came in at $9.5 billion, or $3.30 per share, compared with $4.9 billion, or $1.71 per share, a year earlier. Analysts had expected a profit of $2.37 per share.

The company said its total expenses for the year would be in the range of $70 billion to $73 billion, as it invests in consumer hardware products and infrastructure. (Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain, Sheila Dang and Elizabeth Culliford Editing by Arun Koyyur and Matthew Lewis)

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