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Meta shares jump 17% on better-than-expected revenue, $40 billion repurchase

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Anwar Almojarkesh (L) and Alan Chalabi (R) from England take a photo at Meta (formerly Facebook) corporate headquarters in Menlo Park, California on November 9, 2022.

Josh Edelson | AFP | Getty Images

Meta shares popped in extended trading on Wednesday after the company reported fourth-quarter revenue that topped estimates and announced a $40 billion stock buyback. Here are the results.

  • Earnings: $1.76 per share
  • Revenue:  $32.17 billion vs $31.53 billion expected, according to Refinitiv

It is not immediately clear if the reported earnings are comparable to analyst estimates of $2.22 per share. Here are some other key numbers that Wall Street is watching:

  • Daily Active Users (DAUs): 2 billion vs 1.99 billion expected, according to StreetAccount
  • Monthly Active Users (MAUs):  2.96 billion vs billion expected, according to StreetAccount
  • Average Revenue per User (ARPU): $10.86 vs $10.63 expected, according to StreetAccount

Meta sales for the fourth quarter declined 4% year over year. The company’s cost and expenses ballooned 22% year-over-year to $25.8 billion.

Additionally, Meta said it expects revenue in the first quarter of between $26 billion and $28.5 billion.  Analysts were expecting sales of $27.1 billion, according to Refinitv. Revenue in the first quarter of 2021 came in at $27.9 billion, so should Meta reach the high end of its range, the company could end its streak of year-over-year declines.

The company said it’s authorized a $40 billion incrase to its stock repurchase plan. The company bought back $27.9 billion worth of its shares last year.

“Our community continues to grow and I’m pleased with the strong engagement across our apps. Facebook just reached the milestone of 2 billion daily actives,” Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a statement. “The progress we’re making on our AI discovery engine and Reels are major drivers of this. Beyond this, our management theme for 2023 is the ‘Year of Efficiency’ and we’re focused on becoming a stronger and more nimble organization.”

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Earlier this week, Snap reported fourth quarter earnings that missed on sales, sending its shares tumbling over 14%. While much smaller than Meta, Snap faces some of the same challenges, including a slowdown in online advertising spend, increased competition from TikTok and a weakened targeting advertising system due to Apple’s 2021 iOS privacy update.

While much smaller than Meta, Snap faces some of the same challenges, including a slowdown in online ad spending, increased competition from TikTok and weakened targeted advertising due to Apple’s 2021 iOS privacy update. Alphabet and Amazon will wrap up earnings reports from the major online ad platforms on Thursday, followed by Pinterest next week.

In November, Meta said it would lay off over 11,000 employees, or 13% of the workforce, as part of the company’s plans to reduce costs.

Last year was also marred by Zuckerberg’s costly effort to sell Wall Street on a plan to pivot the company towards the yet-to-be-developed world of the metaverse. Zuckerberg has said the metaverse, which would include virtual reality and augmented reality technologies, could represent the next major way people interact.

The big bet has frustrated investors, who worry the company is putting too much focus on a futuristic endeavor while its core ad business struggles to revive growth. Meta’s Reality Labs unit, home to the metaverse ambitions, lost nearly $9.4 billion in the first three quarters of 2022.

Analysts expect Reality Labs to show an operating loss of $4.36 billion for the fourth quarter on revenue of $715.1 million, according to StreetAccount. Meta said last quarter that “Reality Labs operating losses in 2023 will grow significantly year-over-year.”

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James Thomas
James Thomashttps://businessadvise.org
Hello, I am James Thomas blogger and content creator who specializes in personal finance and investing at Business Advise. I have been writing for over 5 years and have built a large following of readers who value practical advice and actionable tips. I'm committed to helping people take control of their financial futures and achieve their goals.

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