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Meta Platforms META-Q beat expectations for third-quarter profit and revenue on Wednesday, helped by a recovery in digital advertising and an aggressive austerity drive, and trimmed its expenses for the year.

Advertisers banking on resilient consumer spending flocked to the social media company’s digital platforms ahead of the holiday shopping season, a rebound that also boosted ad sales at Alphabet GOOGL-Q and Snap SNAP-N.

In the third quarter ended Sept. 30, ads viewed increased by 31 per cent from a year earlier. The average price per ad decreased by 6 per cent, but the pace of fall was the slowest in seven quarters.

“The anticipated global surge in digital ad spending, poised to hit $667.6-billion next year, combined with Meta’s effective execution and cost control, puts the company on strong footing,” said Insider Intelligence principal analyst Jeremy Goldman.

Shares of Meta rose 3 per cent in extended trading.

The Facebook and Instagram owner also warned again on regulatory pressures ahead and on additional spending on infrastructure as it builds out its artificial-intelligence services.

It forecast total 2023 expenses at between $87-billion and $89-billion, down from its earlier forecast range of $88-billion to $91-billion.

The social media company also said it expected 2024 total expenses in the range of $94-billion to $99-billion, higher than estimates, according to LSEG data.

It declined to give new information about 2024 expenditures, citing the same higher infrastructure investments, hiring plans and expected losses on its metaverse-oriented Reality Labs unit as in the previous quarter.

Meta has been climbing back from a bruising 2022, buoyed by the hype around emerging AI technology, a recovery in digital advertising and an aggressive austerity drive in which it shed around 21,000 employees since last autumn.

The company’s shares have risen nearly 150 per cent so far this year.

Revenue rose 23 per cent to $34.15-billion for the quarter ended September. Analysts were expecting revenue of $33.56-billion, according to LSEG data.

Meta’s daily active people (DAP) grew by 7 per cent. The company uses the metric to track unique users who used any one of its apps such as Facebook, Instagram, Messenger or WhatsApp in a day. DAP grew 7 per cent in the preceding June quarter.

Facebook’s daily active users grew by 5 per cent, while ad impressions across Meta’s apps grew 31 per cent.

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Tickers mentioned in this story

Study and track financial data on any traded entity: click to open the full quote page. Data updated as of 17/05/24 4:00pm EDT.

SymbolName% changeLast
META-Q
Meta Platforms Inc
-0.28%471.91
GOOGL-Q
Alphabet Cl A
+1.08%176.06
GOOG-Q
Alphabet Cl C
+1.06%177.29
SNAP-N
Snap Inc
+0.19%16.05

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