Facebook parent Meta announces $40 billion stock buyback

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Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks during the F8 Facebook Developers conference on April 30, 2019 in San Jose, California.

Justin Sullivan | Getty Images

Facebook parent Meta Platforms said in its quarterly earnings statement on Wednesday that it has increased its share repurchase authorization by $40 billion.

In 2022 the social network operator bought back about $28 billion in stock, according to the statement.

The company began buying back shares in 2017, according to FactSet, but ratcheted quarterly buybacks up above the $10 billion mark for the first time in 2021, as growth from the Covid pandemic helped double net income. Meta has yet to start paying a dividend to shareholders.

Meta’s fourth-quarter results surpassed analysts’ revenue estimates, which helped send shares up more than 17% after hours.

During the quarter Co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Meta was laying off 13% of employees as the company was working to “become a leaner and more efficient company.” Meta’s revenue has now declined year over year for three consecutive quarters, leading it to become more cost-conscious.

Net income fell by 55% to $4.65 billion, but Meta had nearly $41 billion in cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities at the end of 2022.

Meta announced a $50 billion increase in its share repurchase authorization in October 2021.

Why are stock buybacks controversial?

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