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Meta Stock Surges After Q1 Earnings Beat, Facebook Active User Rebound

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Updated at 4:30 pm EST

Meta Platforms  (FB) – Get Meta Platforms Inc. Class A Report posted a mixed set of first quarter earning Wednesday, including the slowest revenue growth in ten years, but saw a rebound in daily active users that offset a near $3 billion loss in its metaverse division and a softer-than-expected near-term forecast. 

The Facebook parent said profits for the three months ending in March were pegged at $2.71, down 17.9% from the same period last year but firmly ahead of the Street consensus forecast of $2.56 per share.

Group revenues, Meta said, rose 6.6% to $27.908 billion, nearly all of it coming from the new ‘Family of Apps’ division the company created last year, missing analysts’ estimates of a $28.2 billion tally. Ad revenues were up 6.1% to $27 billion.

Daily active users were up 4% from last year at 1.96 billion, just ahead of the Street consensus of 1.951 million, suggesting the social media group has been able to offset the market share gains of China-based TikTok with both its Facebook and Instagram apps. 

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Reality Labs, the division that will house the company’s metaverse plans, generated revenues of $695 million, but lost $2.96 billion for the quarter after a 2021 loss of $10.2 billion.

Looking into the currently quarter, Meta said it sees revenues in the region of $28 to $30 billion, again falling shy of the Street consensus of $30.5 billion.

“We made progress this quarter across a number of key company priorities and we remain confident in the long-term opportunities and growth that our product roadmap will unlock,” said CEO Mark Zuckerberg. “More people use our services today than ever before, and I’m proud of how our products are serving people around the world.”  

Meta shares were marked 13.2% higher in after-hours trading immediately following the earnings release to indicate a Thursday opening bell price of $198.05 each

Apple’s  (AAPL) – Get Apple Inc. Report App Tracking Transparency (ATT) rules have made it difficult for Facebook to measure the success of some of ad campaigns, resulting in delayed or restricted data.

In response, the group has had to boost spending — and hiring — on AI and machine learnings tools to help define user preferences make targeted ads more attractive. Facebook’s first quarter headcount, in fact, was up 28% from the previous year to just under 77,800.

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