Meta Revenue Stalls and Profit Plummets by Half, but Investors Are Cheering

Shares were up 19% in after-market trading as the Facebook parent reported fourth-quarter earnings, signaling shareholders’ relief things weren’t worse

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Meta Platforms Inc. announced its fourth quarter and 2022 earnings on Wednesday, noting that it grew 4% on daily active user metric on Facebook, to about 2 billion, giving Wall Street a reason to cheer.

And cheer it did, with the stock rising close to 20% to $182 per share in after-hours trading after closing Wednesday’s session at 153.12.

The company reported revenues of $32.17 billion for Q4, which was down 4% from the same period in 2021. Net income fell 55% to $4.7 billion for the fourth quarter and was 41% lower, at $23.2 billion, for FY22 than in full year 2021.

The parent company of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp reported a staggering increase in expenses, to $25.77 billion and $87.66 billion, or 22% and 23%, respectively, for fourth quarter and FY22. The increase includes charges related to restructuring costs of $4.2 billion and $4.61 billion over the two compared periods, respectively.

“Our community continues to grow and I’m pleased with the strong engagement across our apps (as) Facebook just reached the milestone of 2 billion daily actives,” said Mark Zuckerberg, Meta founder and CEO. “The progress we’re making on our AI discovery engine and Reels are major drivers of this. Beyond this, our management theme for 2023 is the ‘Year of Efficiency’ and we’re focused on becoming a stronger and more nimble organization.”

Over the fourth quarter of 2022, as Meta instilled “measures to pursue greater efficiency,” the Menlo Park, California-based company described consolidating its office footprint worldwide as it chose to “sublease, early terminate, or abandon several office buildings under operating leases.”

Meta is one of many U.S. media and tech companies to lay off thousands of people in the past year after Zuckerberg’s company let go of 11,000 employees. The company also canceled multiple data center projects.