Noah Berger/Getty Images
- Meta shares climbed 11% in Thursday’s premarket after earnings beat Wall Street’s expectations.
- The social-media giant reported revenue growth after three straight quarters of declines.
- CEO Mark Zuckerberg touted AI and vowed to keep costs down during Meta’s “year of efficiency.”
Meta Platforms stock jumped in premarket trading on Thursday after the tech giant’s first-quarter earnings beat Wall Street’s expectations. CEO Mark Zuckerberg also touted the tech giant’s AI plans, and pledged to keep costs low as the owner of Facebook, WhatsApp and Instragram continues its “year of efficiency.”
Shares of the social-media titan climbed 11% ahead of the opening bell, and traded at just under $233 a share at 4.30 a.m. ET.
Investors boosted Meta’s stock after it reported earnings of $2.20 per share after Wednesday’s closing bell, beating the $2.03 per share figure predicted by analysts, according to Refinitiv. Its revenue also grew 3% year-on-year to $28.65 billion, reversing three straight quarters of declines.
In a post-earnings call, Mark Zuckerberg hailed the company’s AI efforts and vowed to keep a lid on spending. The Meta founder and CEO said AI recommendations had led to people spending over 24% more time on Instagram since it launched TikTok rival Reels.
He added that he plans to slow hiring in 2023 to control costs. Meta has already laid off tens of thousands of workers over several rounds of job cuts.
“When we started this work last year, our business wasn’t performing as well as I wanted,” Zuckerberg told analysts. “But now we’re increasingly doing this work from a position of strength.”
“Even as our financial position improves, I continue to believe that slowing hiring, flattening our management structure, increasing the percent of our company that is technical, and more rigorously prioritizing projects will improve the speed and quality of our work,” he added.
Meta has been one of the best-performing stocks of 2023. It was up 74% year-to-date even before Wednesday’s strong earnings performance fueled a further rally.
If its premarket gains hold up until Thursday’s closing bell, it will add around $60 billion to its market capitalization.