Meta Platforms surges on strong results and guidance, increased shareholder returns By

© Reuters. Meta Platforms (META) surges on strong results and guidance, increased shareholder returns

Meta Platforms (NASDAQ:) saw its stock rise more than 13% in after-hours trade following the announcement of strong fourth-quarter earnings and the introduction of a new buyback program.

The internet company reported a Q4 EPS of $5.33, easily surpassing the analysts’ estimate of $4.96. Revenue jumped 25% year-over-year to $40.11 billion, again topping the expected $39.02 billion.

“We had a good quarter as our community and business continue to grow,” said Mark Zuckerberg, Meta founder and CEO. “We’ve made a lot of progress on our vision for advancing AI and the metaverse.”

Across Meta’s family of apps, the company reported 3.19 billion daily active people (DAP) on average for December 2023, an increase of 8% YoY. Family monthly active people (MAP) was 3.98 billion as of December 31, up 6% annually.

Looking forward, Meta Platforms has provided guidance for the first quarter of 2024, projecting revenue in the range of $34.5 to $37 billion. This forecast exceeds the consensus estimate of $33.83 billion, signaling confidence in the company’s continued growth.

Meta reaffirmed its forecast for the full-year 2024 total expenses being in the range of $94 billion to $99 billion.

Moreover, Meta Platforms announced a quarterly dividend of $0.50 per share, or $2 annualized, with a payment date of March 26, offering an annual yield of 0.5% on the dividend.

In terms of share repurchases, Meta Platforms disclosed that it had bought back $6.32 billion of its Class A common stock in the fourth quarter and $20.03 billion over the full year of 2023.

As of December 31, 2023, the company had $30.93 billion available for further repurchases.

The stock received another boost on the news that the Board approved a significant increase in the share repurchase authorization, adding an additional $50 billion to the program.

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