Facebook stock surges as Zuckerberg remains optimisticSeptember 12, 2012: 4:04 PM ET
Facebook's stock rallied almost 8% and closed at a 1-month high Wednesday, a day after CEO Mark Zuckerberg took an upbeat tone during his first public appearance since the company's botched stock market debut in May.
"I am really optimistic about our mobile monetization strategy," Zuckerberg said during an interview with TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington at the tech blog's Disrupt conference in San Francisco Tuesday.
The CEO cited the social media platform's high volume of mobile users, and their high engagement levels. And he added that the early results of its recently-launched mobile ad units are promising: "Those mobile ads perform better than the regular column ads on desktops."
Wall Street liked what it heard.
"We came away from Mark Zuckerberg's first public presentation since the IPO incrementally more positive on his ability to manage Facebook's mobile transition and to bring to fruition the optionality we see embedded in the platform," said Victor Anthony, analyst at Topeka Capital Markets. "His comments taken together give us confidence that Facebook should monetize mobile in a big way in 2013-2014."
Analysts at JPMorgan estimate that Facebook's mobile ad revenue could be more than $200 million this year, and above $900 million in 2013.
Zuckerberg also highlighted the company's "big opportunity" in search, noting that users generate a billion searches on Facebook per day. While a majority of those are for people, users are also searching for businesses, brand names, and applications. Last month, Facebook (FB) launched Sponsored Results, which are ads displayed in the search dropdown bar, to benefit from user searches. But Zuckerberg said Facebook could still do more with search.
Despite Wednesday's sharp move higher, Facebook's stock is still more than 40% below the initial public offering price of $38 a piece.
--CNNMoney's Laurie Segall contributed to this report.