Meta, the parent company of social media giant Facebook, is thriving financially, according to its 2023 fourth quarter earning results. The company will pay shareholders dividends of $0.50 per share, and announced a $50 billion share buyback program that is also expected to benefit investors. Zuckerberg, who owns approximately $350 million in Meta shares, is expected to receive an additional $175 million in dividends this quarter thanks to the new policy. If Meta continues to pay quarterly dividends at the same rate, Zuckerberg could gain an additional $700 million per year.
The announcement marks a significant reversal in Meta’s fortune since the company’s stock price dropped by over 70% throughout the course of 2022. In early January, the company's stock finally reached and surpassed its previous all time peak of $379.38 per share, not seen since August 2021.
Total revenue at Meta rose by 25% in the fourth quarter when compared to the same time period last year, growing from $32.2 billion to $40.1 billion. Share price jumped after the announcement, rising to highs of $461.47 in after hours trading, a jump of over 16% from the share price of $394.78 that was last seen on Thursday afternoon before the market closed.
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"We had a good quarter as our community and business continue to grow," said Meta founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a press release. "We've made a lot of progress on our vision for advancing AI and the metaverse."
Zuckerberg also told investors during a webcast discussing the results that the company plans to continue investing in both generative AI technology and the metaverse. “We invested heavily both in AI and the Metaverse for a long time, and will continue to do so,” said Zuckerberg. “I still expect this next generation of AR, VR and MR computing platforms to deliver a realistic sense of presence that will be the foundation of social experiences.”
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