Meta inched toward an all-time high Friday, completing the company's dramatic recovery as Wall Street renews faith in Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Mr. Zuckerberg is refocusing his efforts on improving the company's profitability.
Meta stock rose as much as 1.7% to $382.59 in morning trading, hitting its highest in more than two years and testing its previous intraday high of $384.33 set in September 2021. .
Meta is also on track to break above its all-time closing price of $382, potentially capping a major comeback from the stock's 77% collapse from its 2021 peak to its November 2022 trough.
The dust-up in 2021-2022 came as deteriorating economic conditions and the threat of rising interest rates weighed broadly on tech stocks, especially as Meta Inc. shifted from its core social media product to Zuckerberg's pet. It coincided with a change in company name from Facebook to reflect the shift in focus. “Metaverse” Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality Passion Project.
The Metaverse push proved highly unpopular among investors, as the company's expanded virtual division reported a $13.7 billion operating loss in 2022.
But Meta shares exploded again in 2023 as Zuckerberg touted a “year of efficiency” for the company. marked The efforts are beginning to bear fruit for Meta, which just completed its most profitable quarter in history, with more than 20,000 job cuts and a drive to boost profits, with 139% in the quarter ending September 30, 2022. Generated $1 billion in cash.
Meta was the second-best performer in the S&P 500 in 2023, with a nearly 200% return. The company's rise comes amid a broader rally in big tech stocks, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq index up more than 40% last year. Mr. Zuckerberg, who owns about 13% of the company, has become even richer as Meta shares soared. His net worth is $134 billion, making him the world's fifth-richest person, according to Forbes estimates on Friday.
Meta is currently within 2% of reaching the $1 trillion market cap for the first time in history. Currently, the only companies in the world worth over $1 trillion are Apple, Microsoft, Saudi Aramco, Alphabet, Amazon, and Nvidia. Meta's market capitalization on Friday was approximately $980 billion, making it the seventh most valuable company in the world.
Points to note
Meta is scheduled to report fourth quarter and full year financial results on February 1st. Analysts expect Meta to post a record $72.6 billion in expected EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization), according to FactSet. The company expects to report its most profitable year ever.