Meta Q1 2023 earnings report

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Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer of Meta Platforms Inc., center, departs from federal court in San Jose, Calif., on Dec. 20, 2022.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Meta shares jumped 12% in extended trading on Wednesday after the company reported an unexpected increase in sales for the first quarter and issued better-than-expected guidance for the current period.

Here are the key numbers:

  • Earnings: $2.20 per share
  • Revenue: $28.65 billion vs. $27.65 billion expected by analysts, according to Refinitiv.
  • Daily Active Users (DAUs): 2.04 billion vs. 2.01 billion expected, according to StreetAccount.
  • Monthly Active Users (MAUs): 2.99 billion vs 2.99 billion expected, according to StreetAccount.
  • Average Revenue per User (ARPU): $9.62 vs. $9.30 expected, according to StreetAccount.

Meta’s first-quarter sales rose 3% from $27.91 billion a year earlier, after three straight periods in which revenue declined.

It wasn’t immediately clear if the company’s earnings-per-share figure was comparable to analyst projections of $2.03.

For the second quarter, Facebook parent Meta expects revenue of between $29.5 billion and $32 billion, while analysts were expecting sales of $29.5 billion, according to Refinitiv.

“We had a good quarter and our community continues to grow,” Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a statement. The company is “becoming more efficient so we can build better products faster and put ourselves in a stronger position to deliver our long term vision,” he said.

Meta’s Reality Labs unit, which is developing the virtual reality and augmented reality technologies for the metaverse, brought in $339 million in sales but logged an operating loss of $3.99 billion. The company added that operating losses in Reality Labs will increase this year.  

Net income companywide fell 24% to $5.71 billion, or $2.20 per share, from $7.47 billion, or $2.72 per share, in the same quarter last year.

Meta said that total expenses for 2023 will be in the range of $86 billion to $90 billion. That figure includes restructuring costs that range between $3 billion to $5 billion.

Capital expenditures will remain in the range of $30 billion to 33 billion. That figure accounts for its increased artificial intelligence investments and its ad-supported products like the newsfeed and Reels, the company said.

The after-market rally further boosted a stock that’s been on an upward trend since Zuckerberg announced in February that 2023 would be the company’s “year of efficiency.”

The shares lost two-thirds of their value in 2022, but were up 74% this year, prior to the earnings report. Including the post-report surge on Wednesday to over $234, the shares are up about 164% from their November 2022 low of around $89.

Investors have rallied around Zuckerberg’s plans to slim down his company through a series of layoffs, resulting in some 21,000 expected job cuts. The revenue base had been shrinking from a battered online advertising market and the lingering effects of Apple’s 2021 iOS privacy update that dramatically limited ad-targeting capabilities.

Google parent Alphabet, which dominates the online ad market along with Meta, reported first-quarter results on Tuesday that beat analysts’ expectations, though ad revenue fell from the prior year.

Executives will address analysts and investors on an earnings call beginning at 5 p.m. ET.

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