Facebook stock pushes above $40

The share of the youth-oriented social-media company pushes past an important numerical barrier.

Don’t look now, but Facebook’s stock is surging.

After finally regaining its IPO price of $38 last month, Facebook’s stock has continued to edge higher. Friday morning, it rose above $40 for the first time since its opening-day trading.

As the chart above shows, it has been a long road back for Facebook from its initial public offering in May 2012. When it first opened for trading on May 18, 2012, shares traded hands for $42. The price surged to $45 before falling back to close at $38.23. That was the last time shares traded for more than $40.

The stock’s initial drop after the IPO was attributed in large part to uncertainty about whether the company could grow. At its nadir, on September 4, 2012, Facebook closed below $18.

But over the past year, Facebook has defied the doubters and the haters. Revenues have risen smartly. The company’s quarterly earnings, released last month, demonstrated tangible evidence of Facebook’s ability to monetize the rising mobile audience.

So what has fueled today’s further jump? Who knows? There was no obvious catalyst for the rise. One possible reason is an announcement regarding advertising images made yesterday. Facebook’s new partnership with Shutterstock means that advertisers can use these free stock images in their ads. This will theoretically make Facebook advertising more visually appealing.