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Facebook Surges After Sales Beat Estimates

  • Social network sets aside $3 billion related to FTC inquiry
  • Regulatory concerns haven’t slowed advertising juggernaut
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Facebook Inc.’s shares surged after the largest social-media company posted robust quarterly sales growth and signaled it may be close to resolving a U.S. privacy investigation, easing investor concerns about the impact of regulatory threats.

First-quarter sales jumped 26 percent and monthly visitors at Facebook’s main site topped projections. The company also said Wednesday it set aside $3 billion in the quarter related to an inquiry by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. The FTC has been in discussions with Facebook over potential violations related to a 2011 consent decree in the wake of privacy missteps. Facebook estimated the loss related to any settlement could be as high as $5 billion.