Facebook Parent Meta Falls Short Of Q1 Earnings Bar, But Stock Surges On Earnings Beat

Meta Platforms, parent company of Facebook and Instagram, reported a mixed bag of first-quarter results, beating Wall Street expectations for earnings but falling short in total revenue.

Earnings per share slipped 18% from the prior-year quarter to $2.72, but that was still well above analysts’ consensus of $2.56. Revenue climbed 7% to $27.9 billion, short of forecasts for $28.2 billion.

Shares in Meta gained 15% in after-hours trading after dropping 3% during the regular session. The price cracked the $200 barrier for the first time since February. Also potentially giving investors confidence was a note in the earnings release that expenses for 2022 should be lower than previously expected, coming in at $87 billion to $90 billion, about $3 billion less than the prior outlook.

In March, the final month of the quarter, Meta’s full family of apps — Facebook, Instagram, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp — had an average of 2.87 billion daily users, up 6% year-over-year. Facebook alone hit 1.96 billion DAUs, up 4%.

Ad impressions on all apps rose 15%, while the average price per ad decreased by 8%.

Total revenue in the second quarter, the company said, should fall in the $28 billion to $30 billion range. “This outlook reflects a continuation of the trends impacting revenue growth in the first quarter, including softness in the back half of the first quarter that coincided with the war in Ukraine,” the company said.

As to ongoing concerns about the impact of transatlantic data transfer changes potentially hitting Meta’s European operations, the company said it is “pleased with the progress on a political agreement.”

After several years of dominance by the FAANG companies, there has recently been a lot of flux in that all-powerful acronym. Netflix has seen its valuation crater after bleak earnings reports and subscriber losses, while Alphabet has reported disappointing results at YouTube, prompting some analysts to say TikTok is starting to dislodge it. Twitter’s recent saga with Elon Musk, who has a deal in place to take over the company, has also unsettled other social media players given his stated plan of relaxing content moderation.

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