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Facebook's Zuckerberg earned $1.2B on birthday Thursday

By Doug G. Ware
Facebook's Zuckerberg earned $1.2B on birthday Thursday
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg turned 31 on Thursday -- a day that saw shares in his company soar nearly $3 in value, or the equivalent of $1.2 billion. File Photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI | License Photo

MENLO PARK, Calif., May 14 (UPI) -- Barely into his 30s, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg got quite a birthday gift Thursday: $1.2 billion.

Shares of the social media giant jumped nearly $3 in trading Thursday -- 3.7 percent -- from $78.44 per share to $81.37.

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Zuckerberg, who turned 31 Thursday, holds 426.3 million shares of the company -- equaling a grand total of $34,688,031,000.

"It just underscores why it's so good to be Zuckerberg," market expert Matt Krantz wrote in USA Today on Thursday. "The company and stock flourished under the CEO during his 30th year – rocketing 37.4%. No one benefitted more than the Zuck."

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Year-to-year, the Facebook chief's shares gained more than $9 billion in value -- not counting the paltry $610,000 annual salary he earns as chief executive officer.

The USA Today report noted that Zuckerberg is one of just six millennial CEOs leading companies in the Russell 3000 index.

Zuckerberg has presided over Facebook since creating it in 2004, and Fortune has estimated his net worth at nearly $35 billion. In 2008, at age 23, he became the youngest billionaire in the world.

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"That sure eases the pain of getting a year older," Krantz wrote.

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