Facebook Inc. shares rose Monday after a Morgan Stanley analyst said that the social media company has the edge on its competitors in attracting advertising revenue. Analyst Scott Devitt said in a research note that Facebook's global reach and popularity among users make it a more attractive place for companies to place their ads than Twitter and other social media sites. He also noted that Facebook's recent test launch of video ads in its news feed and of ads on Instagram is benefiting the company. He expects Instagram ad revenue to grow. The analyst maintained an "Overweight" rating — equivalent to a "Buy" rating — on the stock and raised his price target on Facebook shares to $62 from $53 . The company faced some early skepticism over its ability to generate revenue from mobile advertising as its users shifted to cellphones and tablets from desktop computers, but advertising growth has been strong. Sales were $5.29 billion through the first nine months of last year, compared with $5.09 billion in all of 2012. Shares of Facebook rose $2.50 , or 4.6 percent, to $57.06 in afternoon trading. Its stock has nearly doubled in value over the past 12 months. The company went public in May of 2012 at $38 .
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