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“Meta’s Stock Skyrockets! Inside the Billion-Dollar Earnings Surge and Zuckerberg’s Bold Vision!”

Meta Platforms, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, experienced a remarkable surge in its stock performance following a stellar fourth-quarter earnings report. The company exceeded analysts’ expectations, reporting earnings of $5.33 per share on sales of $40.1 billion for the quarter ending in December. This surpassed projections of $4.82 per share on $39.1 billion in sales, according to FactSet.

The fourth-quarter results showcased a 25% increase in sales and a remarkable 203% increase in earnings compared to the previous year. Moreover, Meta announced its inaugural dividend of 50 cents per share of common stock, scheduled for payment on March 26 to shareholders as of Feb. 22.

Looking ahead, Meta projects sales between $34.5 billion and $37 billion for the current quarter, surpassing analyst expectations of $33.9 billion in sales for the March quarter. Following the earnings announcement, Meta stock soared over 14% to $450.42 in after-hours trading.

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg expressed satisfaction with the company’s performance, emphasizing the growth of its community and business. He highlighted advancements in artificial intelligence and the metaverse as key areas of progress.

Key metrics from the fourth quarter include Facebook’s monthly active users growing by 3% year over year to reach 3.07 billion. Digital advertising remained the primary revenue driver, accounting for $38.7 billion in sales, a 24% increase from the same period last year.

Despite significant losses from its metaverse initiatives, Meta’s Reality Labs division achieved a milestone by surpassing $1 billion in quarterly revenue for the first time. The company’s Family of Apps, comprising Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Reels, and Threads, generated $21 billion in income, doubling from the previous year.

In terms of workforce, Meta ended 2023 with 67,317 employees, marking a 22% decrease from the beginning of the year as part of a restructuring effort aimed at efficiency improvements.

Meta’s stock performance has been robust, gaining 14% since the beginning of the year, contributing to a 194% surge in the previous year. In January, Meta’s market capitalization exceeded $1 trillion, reaffirming its status among top tech giants.

Additionally, Meta Platforms maintains a strong position on the IBD 50 list of top growth stocks and the IBD Leaderboard premium stock-ideas service. With a Relative Strength Rating of 96 and a perfect 99 IBD Composite Rating, Meta demonstrates exceptional strength across various technical and fundamental metrics, indicating strong potential for continued growth.

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