Meta Platforms (META) released its first quarter results after Wednesday’s close that blew expectations while the company also raised its guidance for the current quarter and lowered its spending guidance.
The parent company of Facebook and Instagram saw its shares soar as much as 11%, their highest level since January 2022, in after-hours trading. Meta, which billed 2023 as its “Year of Efficiency,” said in the statement that it had “substantially completed” its 2022 layoffs, although it will continue to make layoffs this year.
Last month, Meta announced it would cut 10,000 workers, building on the company’s previous announcement of layoffs in November.
Here are Meta’s top earnings numbers, compared to analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg:
Income: $28.65 billion actual vs $27.67 billion estimated
EPS: $2.20 actual vs $2.01 estimated
Advertising revenue: $28.1 billion actual vs $26.76 billion estimated
App Family Revenue: $28.3 billion actual vs $26.88 billion estimated
Reality Labs operating losses: $3.99 billion actual vs $3.8 billion estimated
2nd quarter turnover: $29.5–32 billion real versus $29.48 billion estimated
“We had a good quarter and our community continues to grow,” Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a statement.
“Our work on AI is driving good results in our applications and businesses. We’re also becoming more efficient so we can build better products faster and put ourselves in a stronger position to deliver on our long-term vision.”
And there seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to the slowdown in digital advertising, which has rocked Meta in previous earnings cycles.
The pace of the company’s ad revenue was supported by growth in ad impressions, which grew 26% year-over-year across Meta’s “family of apps,” which includes Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp.
If this earnings cycle is about cost cutting in Big Tech, perhaps no company has been more ruthless than Meta.
In October, the company forecast 2023 spending to be between $96 billion and $101 billion. In Wednesday’s statement, the company said it now expects spending this year to be between $86 billion and $90 billion, including restructuring costs.
It also explains losses at the company’s metaverse division, Reality Labs, which is expected to continue and increase year over year. Reality Labs lost $13.7 billion in 2022.
The company said its workforce at the end of the first quarter was 77,114, down 1% from a year ago.
In its statement, Meta said: “Substantially all of the employees affected by the layoffs announced in November 2022 are no longer reflected in our reported workforce as of March 31, 2023. Additionally, employees who would be affected by the 2023 layoffs are included in our Reported Workforce as of March 31, 2023.”
Despite layoffs, like Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL) and Microsoft (MSFT), Meta is making takeovers. The company repurchased $9.22 billion of its stock in the first quarter of 2023, and as of March 31, Meta was authorized to repurchase $41.73 billion of its own stock.
Allie Garfinkel is a senior technical reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter at @agarfinks and on LinkedIn.
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