Meta Stocks Rise After Profit Rise

Meta’s share price soared on Friday, adding hundreds of billions of dollars to the market value of the social media giant that owns Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.

The company announced Thursday after the stock market closed that its latest quarterly profit more than tripled, benefiting from a rebound in digital advertising. It also announced its first dividend and authorized an additional $50 billion in share buybacks.

Meta stock rose more than 20 percent on Friday, pushing it further toward record territory. The company recently regained its trillion-dollar status, and because of its size, it holds major influence over indexes like the S&P 500, which has gained about 1 percent. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index rose even more, by about 1.5 percent.

Friday’s surge added some $200 billion to Meta’s market value, about as much as the entire market capitalization of large multinational corporations, such as McDonald’s.

Mark Zuckerberg, Meta’s chief executive, called 2023 a “year of efficiency,” in which the company cut costs, in part by cutting tens of thousands of workers.

“What’s not to like?” » wrote analysts at Truist Securities in a research report. They said the cost-cutting measures were “paying off” in the form of higher profit margins.

Wells Fargo analysts said they view Meta’s heavy investments in artificial intelligence as an “offensive play.” They said Meta’s profits stood in stark contrast to those of its main rival Alphabet, Google’s parent company, which reported profits below Wall Street expectations.

Goldman Sachs researchers said it was unclear whether Meta could maintain its momentum, but the company’s blockbuster results were enough “to leave behind prior questions about the strength of the platform.” .