Meta Platforms Declares First Dividend




Shares of Meta Platforms (META) are up 17% after the technology company declared its first dividend payment to stockholders.

In announcing its latest financial results, Meta said that it will pay investors a dividend of $0.50 U.S. per share starting on March 26 of this year.

The company also announced an expanded $50 billion U.S. share buyback program.

Meta Platforms now joins Apple (AAPL) and Microsoft (MSFT) as the only other mega-cap technology companies that pay dividends to their shareholders.

The dividend and buyback program were announced along with fourth quarter 2023 financial results that beat Wall Street estimates across the board.

For the final months of 2023, Meta Platforms reported earnings per share (EPS) of $5.33 U.S. versus $4.96 U.S. that was expected among analysts polled by LSEG.

Revenue totaled $40.10 billion U.S. compared to $39.18 billion that had been expected On Wall Street.

The company’s revenue rose 25% in the quarter from a year earlier, the fastest rate of growth since mid-2021 as the online advertising market continues to recover.

At the same time, Meta’s expenses declined 8% year-over-year to $23.73 billion U.S. and its operating margin more than doubled to 41%, indicating that cost-cutting is boosting profitability.

Additionally, Meta Platforms’ net income, or profit, more than tripled in Q4 2023 from $1.76 U.S. a share a year earlier.

Regarding guidance, Meta executives forecast sales of $34.50 billion U.S. to $37 billion U.S. in the current first quarter of 2024. Analysts were expecting Q1 revenue of $33.80 billion U.S.

Prior to today (Feb. 2), the stock of Meta Platforms had gained 109% over the last 12 months to trade at $394.78 U.S. per share.



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