Facebook owner Meta to pay first dividend as three tech giants post bumper numbers

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Facebook owner Meta announced it would pay its first dividend as three of the world’s biggest tech companies reported bumper figures.

In an announcement last night, the social media giant proposed a $0.50 per share split, which would be a major boost for investors.

This came as Meta reported revenues of £106 billion for 2023, up 16% from the previous year.

Profits soared by a quarter to £31bn.

The company, which owns Instagram and Whatsapp as well as Facebook, announced plans to now pay a cash dividend on a quarterly basis.

In an announcement last night, social media giant Meta proposed a $0.50 per share split, which is a major boost for investors.

In an announcement last night, social media giant Meta proposed a $0.50 per share split, which is a major boost for investors.

The dividend announcement caps founder Mark Zuckerberg’s so-called “year of efficiency”, which saw the group lay off 21,000 employees and cut several innovative projects.

The company now has around 67,000 employees worldwide, a fifth fewer than the previous year.

Meta shares jumped 14 percent in after-hours trading following the announcement.

But Facebook isn’t the only one getting a boost.

Amazon also reported exceptional figures for the year, with sales reaching £451 billion in 2023.

This is an increase on the £403 billion made the previous year and comes after sales in the Christmas quarter reached £133 billion.

Annual profits for the year reached £24 billion.

Andy Jassy, ​​Amazon Chief Executive Officer, said: “This fourth quarter was a record-breaking holiday shopping season and capped off a strong 2023 for Amazon.”

Amazon also cut 28,000 jobs in 2023 as it pulled back from its hiring spree during the pandemic.

The tech sector will shed a total of 262,595 jobs by 2023, according to data tracker Layoffs.fyi.

Meanwhile, Apple, which managed to avoid any major job cuts last year, posted a strong first quarter.

This was largely supported by sales of its iPhone and strong growth in its services arm, which includes the Apple TV streaming service.

The tech giant reported revenue of £94 billion for the three months to the end of December, while profits rose to £27 billion.

The results closely track those of fellow members of the “Magnificent Seven,” Google parent Alphabet and Microsoft, both of which reported their own quarterly results this week.

Alphabet recorded its fastest quarter of revenue growth since the start of 2022, with sales of £67.7 billion for the three months to the end of December, up 13% from the previous year , driven by its cloud computing arm.

But advertising remains a sensitive point, with fierce competition from platforms such as Facebook, TikTok and Amazon, and a difficult economic context.

Microsoft, which recently became the world’s most valuable company – surpassing $3 trillion – posted record revenue of £49 billion in the three months to December, driven by demand in booming for AI and cloud technology.



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