Meta up on back of good Q1, defies worries on EU digital markets act

New York : Meta surged 17.6 per cent on Thursday after a buoyant update for the first time since Q4 in February had sent the stock reeling 26 per cent, its worst-day ever. Facebook changed its name to Meta in October 2021, reflecting CEO Mark Zukerberg’s faith in a future of working, playing and studying in a virtual world. Shares have lost nearly half their value in 2022. Key metric Daily Active Users, which declined in the previous quarter for the first time, bounced back a bit from 1.93 to 1.96 billion. Meta exceeded expectations for average revenue per user, but nearly every other key metric was a miss, including monthly active users.

Revenue rose 7 per cent in the quarter, marking the first time in Facebook’s 10-year history as a public company, that growth has landed in single digits. Analysts were expecting 7.8 per cent growth. For the next quarter, the company forecast revenue of $28 to $30 billion, trailing the $30.6 billion estimate of analysts surveyed by Refinitiv. A release said the guidance takes into account continued trends from the first quarter, including soft revenue growth, that “coincided with the war in Ukraine”. Facebook’s family of apps, including the core app, Instagram and WhatsApp, accounted for 97.5 per cent of revenue in the quarter.

“We think while these times are challenging, over the long run, we do have a very strong competitive advantage when you look across the opportunities advertisers have to advertise both offline and online,” said Facebook Chief Operating Officer, Sheryl Sandberg. Meta expects a tougher regulatory environment with Europe coming to an agreement on the Digital Markets Act (DMA), which aims to rein in the power of digital gatekeepers. Sandberg said though the finalised text of the DMA has not been made public, it was generally in line with expectations. She added that she expects the regulatory environment to continue to be a “real challenge” for the whole industry.


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