It looks like all of Meta’s work last year has paid off. The parent company of Facebook dubbed 2023 the “year of efficiency,” cutting costs and jobs to get its profitability back on track.
Meta lost nearly 70% of its stock price in 2022, leading many to question Zuckerberg’s plan for the future.
All that changed last week when Meta shares shot up 20% after an impressive earnings report, currently at an all-time high of $470. The resulting $197 billion increase in its market cap is history’s biggest single-session market value addition.
In the report, Meta announced a 25% rise in revenue to just over $40 billion from $32 billion the year prior. Net income more than tripled to $14 billion from $4.6 billion over the same time frame. The company hasn’t seen such growth in years, and these numbers bode well for Meta’s future.
In addition, this quarter marks the first time Meta will pay out a dividend. Shareholders will receive $0.50 per share on March 26.
The amount isn’t large, but investors are optimistic that these dividends indicate the company is maturing. It also speaks volumes for Meta’s bottom line.
Cash equivalents climbed to $65.4 billion as 2023 came to an end. That’s up 62% from 2022. A $50 billion share buyback program currently in place is also designed to benefit shareholders.
It’s no surprise that Mark Zuckerberg stands to benefit the most from Meta’s recent fortune. He’s the biggest shareholder, with some $350 million in shares.
Last week's jump adds more than $28 billion to the Meta founder’s net worth despite only collecting a $1 salary. The new dividend payouts could add roughly $700 million to that total.
We don’t envision Meta resting on its current laurels. Zuckerberg remains excited about the prospects of his metaverse. Meta is one of the biggest players in virtual, augmented, and mixed-reality computing. The Quest 3 is the latest in the line of Meta’s offerings to the space, and it seems to beat its predecessors in almost every way.
The company is also stepping up its game on the artificial intelligence front. Its AI platform, Llama, stands to compete with the likes of ChatGPT.
It should be interesting to see where Meta heads this year and whether investors in Meta stock will be able to ride this wave into the future or crash on the shore before long.