Economy

Metaverse Money Maker? Reality Labs Posts First $1 Billion Quarter 

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Meta Platforms, the social media behemoth formerly known as Facebook, sent shivers of excitement through investors Thursday night. Not only did the company crush analysts’ expectations for its fourth-quarter earnings, but it also unveiled its first-ever dividend, a sweet cherry on top of a financial sundae.

 Alex Castro / The Verge

Forget lukewarm – Meta’s results were red-hot. Earnings per share? $5.33, a cool 11% higher than analysts predicted. Sales? A staggering $40.1 billion, a 25% year-over-year jump. The applause wasn’t just polite; it was thunderous. In after-hours trading, Meta stock skyrocketed over 14%, leaving smiles wider than a Facebook newsfeed.

But wait, there’s more! In a move that sent dividend-hungry investors into a frenzy, Meta announced a 50-cent-per-share quarterly dividend, payable in March. This is a historic first for the company, and it signals a newfound focus on returning value to shareholders.

Of course, it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Meta’s ambitious metaverse project, Reality Labs, continues to be a money pit. The division lost a whopping $4.6 billion in the quarter, a stark reminder that building virtual worlds ain’t cheap.

 Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Still, investors seem to be betting on the long game. Meta’s core business – the Family of Apps, which includes Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp – is booming. Monthly active users are growing, and ad sales are soaring. Plus, the company has slashed its workforce by 22%, demonstrating a commitment to efficiency.

All in all, it was a night to remember for Meta and its investors. The company proved it’s still a force to be reckoned with, and the future looks bright, both on the balance sheet and in the ever-evolving digital landscape. So, buckle up, metaverse or not, the ride promises to be exciting!

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