Facebook reaches $250bn market cap in just over three years Reuters

Facebook's market capitalisation has crossed $250bn (£161bn, €226bn) in the shortest span of time for a US-listed company, after its shares ended trading up 2.4% on 13 July.

It took the social network just over three years to reach the valuation since it went public in May 2012, making it the first in the Standard & Poor's 500 Index to breach that market cap so quickly, according to Bloomberg data.

The previous holder of the record was Google, which took about eight years to reach the valuation. The internet search giant now has a market capitalisation of more than $375b, behind Apple's gigantic $742bn valuation.

Facebook shares closed up 2.44% at $90.10 on 13 July in the US, after hitting its 52-week high of $90.22 during the day. The shares trade at 87 times earnings, almost five times the average in the S&P 500.

The company earlier trumped retail giant Wal-Mart to become the ninth biggest company in the S&P 500 by market value.

Facebook's market value surged as its stock rose more than 15% since the beginning of 2015, largely due to its strong revenue growth and profit margins.

The rise in value comes after the company's disastrous initial public offering. After closing on the IPO day at a $104bn valuation, the company's stock fell sharply, losing more than half its value in the four months after its trading debut, as investors feared that the stock could be overvalued.

Nevertheless, growth-oriented initiatives at the company under CEO Mark Zuckerberg revived investor optimism, and it experienced a steady increase in share prices.