Facebook earnings beat sends Meta stock soaring, but sales hit slowest growth in a decade

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Meta Platforms Inc. is the latest tech giant to feel an economic pinch, as Facebook’s parent company reported its slowest sales growth in a decade Wednesday and issued lukewarm revenue guidance.

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Regardless, Meta’s stock FB,
-3.32%
jumped more than 13% in after-hours trading Wednesday, after the company formerly known as Facebook disclosed First-quarter earnings of $7.47 billion, or $2.72 a share, down from $9.5 billion, or $3.30 a share last year, on sales of $27.9 billion, up 7% from $26.2 billion a year ago.

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Earnings beat the average forecast for profit of $2.56 a share, but sales fell short of the consensus of $28.3 billion, according to analysts polled by FactSet.

Meta issued a second-quarter revenue forecast of $28 billion to $30 billion, while analysts were forecasting $30.7 billion. Facebook executives have cited increased competition from services such as TikTok, and changes to Apple Inc. AAPL,
-0.15%
made to its mobile operating system that make it more difficult for apps to track consumers in ads.

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For more: Meta CFO cries ‘wolf’ again with bleak Facebook outlook — but he may be right this time

In a white paper published by Apple on Tuesday,Kinshuk Jerath, a professor of business in the marketing division at Columbia Business School, concluded it would be speculative to claim billions of advertising dollars moved from companies like Meta to Apple because of Apple’s move.

“This outlook reflects a continuation of the trends impacting revenue growth in the first quarter, including softness in the back half of the first quarter that coincided with the war in Ukraine,” Meta Chief Financial Officer David Wehner said in a statement announcing the results. “Our guidance assumes foreign currency will be approximately a 3% headwind to year-over-year growth in the second quarter, based on current exchange rates.”

The mixed results arrive on the heels of lighter-than-expected sales and earnings from Google parent Alphabet Inc GOOGL,
-3.67%

GOOG,
-3.75%
on Tuesday, deepening concerns that companies dependent on advertising may face a rough patch with a war raging in Ukraine and inflation burning through the pocketbooks of consumers. Snap Inc. SNAP,
-5.58%
warned of a “challenging operating environment” when it reported results last week, though Pinterest Inc. PINS,
-2.86%
shares also soared after earnings on Wednesday.

Daily active users, or DAUs, a crucial metric for Meta’s growth globally, increased 4% to 1.96 billion, topping analyst expectations of 1.95 billion.

Read more: These 21 large-cap stocks have now crashed at least 50%

Meta’s stock has been among the worst in tech this year, plummeting 48% so far, while the broader S&P 500 index SPX,
+0.21%
has dipped 12% in 2022.

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Credit: www.marketwatch.com /

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