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Earnings Outlook: Facebook earnings growth won’t stop: 70% profit jump expected

Facebook Inc. is expected to report a 70% increase in earnings thanks to strong sales and advertising growth when it reports third-quarter earnings after the market closes Wednesday.

Analysts consider Facebook FB, -0.23% to be eons ahead of the competition, both in its user base and Rolodex of advertisers. Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter said Facebook has a “virtually insurmountable competitive advantage,” with more than 1.7 billion monthly active users and more than 3 million advertisers.

Momentum in ad sales should come particularly from mobile ads, thanks to increased engagement. Facebook could face tough questions about misstated video metrics and an admitted “slow start” for sales of its Oculus Rift virtual-reality hardware, but big gains in profit and revenue are expected to drown out any doubts.

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