Thu. Feb 22nd, 2024

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

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    Facebook owner Meta said it will pay its first dividend as three of the world’s biggest tech companies posted bumper numbers.

    In an announcement last night, the social media giant proposed a divi of $0.50 per share in a big boost for investors.

    It came as Meta posted revenue of £106 billion by 2023, up 16 per cent on the previous year.

    Profits rose by a quarter to £31bn.

    The company, which owns Instagram and Whatsapp as well as Facebook, said it now intends to pay a cash dividend quarterly.

    In an announcement last night, social media giant Meta proposed a divi of $0.50 per share in a big boost for investors.

    The dividend announcement completes founder Mark Zuckerberg’s so-called “year of efficiency,” in which the group laid 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 rose 14 percent in after-hours trading following the announcement.

    But it wasn’t just Facebook that enjoyed a boost.

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

    This was up from the £403bn it earned the previous year and came after sales in the Christmas quarter hit £133bn.

    Annual profits for the year reached £24 billion.

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

    Amazon had also cut 28,000 jobs during 2023 as it retreated from its hiring spree during the pandemic.

    The tech sector shed 262,595 jobs in total throughout 2023, according to data tracker Layoffs.fyi.

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

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

    The tech giant posted revenue of £94bn for the three months to the end of December, while profits hit £27bn.

    The results come on the heels of members of the ‘Magnificent Seven’, Google parent Alphabet, and Microsoft, releasing their own quarterly results this week.

    Alphabet reported its fastest-growing 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 percent from a year earlier, driven by its cloud computing division.

    But advertising remained a delicate 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 (topping $3 trillion), posted record sales of £49 billion in the three months to December, thanks to growing demand for artificial intelligence and technology. cloud.

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