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Meta reports more than triple profits and issues its first dividend

Meta reports more than triple profits and issues its first dividend

meta on thursday informed of Quarterly revenue rose 25 percent while profit more than tripled, boosted by its advertising business after 18 months of layoffs and a rocky digital ad market.

The Silicon Valley company, which owns Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, also said it would issue its first dividend of 50 cents per share. Dividends are generally associated with mature and slow-growth companies. Meta made this announcement as it spends heavily on capital investments such as data centers and other infrastructure.

“We had a great quarter as our community and business continue to grow,” said Mark Zuckerberg, Meta's founder and chief executive. “We have made great progress on our vision of advancing AI and the metaverse.”

For the three months ended Dec. 31, Meta had revenue of $40.1 billion, up from $32.2 billion a year earlier and exceeding Wall Street's estimate of $39 billion, according to data compiled by FactSet. Profit was $14 billion, up from $4.65 billion a year earlier.

The company benefited from a continued surge in digital advertising, although marketers remain cautious about where they allocate their advertising budgets. On Tuesday, Google reported search revenue and profit margins for its latest quarter that fell short of Wall Street expectations due to modest advertising growth.

Meta has had a tumultuous few years as the global economy changes and online advertising markets falter. The company has also faced scrutiny for privacy issues and the spread of misinformation and toxic content on its platforms.

Mr. Zuckerberg has moved the company into the broader digital world of the metaverse. Last year, he also initiated a “year of efficiency” to cut costs, which included laying off thousands of employees. The company's workforce has declined by 22 percent since December 2022 and now stands at 67,317 employees.

Meta remains under pressure to rein in harmful content on its platforms, which are regularly used by more than four billion people. On Wednesday, Mr. Zuckerberg — along with other tech CEOs — was questioned at a congressional hearing on the spread of child sexual abuse material online. Mr Zuckerberg told those attending the hearing that he was sorry for what families of children who suffered online abuse had experienced.

Despite this, more people are coming back to Meta's services regularly. The company hosts more than 3.98 billion users on its apps each month, up 6 percent from a year ago.

It is investing heavily in artificial intelligence and redesigning its data centers to keep up with other tech giants in the highly competitive sector. Meta said part of its increased operating expenses came from attracting top tech talent in AI

https://static01.nyt.com/images/2024/02/01/multimedia/01meta-fvzj/01meta-fvzj-facebookJumbo.jpg

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