Facebook parent Meta beats analysts' expectations, beats expectations

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Facebook's parent company, Meta, said on Wednesday it grew sales by 3% during the first three months of the year, reversing a trend of three consecutive quarters of revenue declines and far exceeding Wall Street analysts expectations.

The company's strong trend has been a year of efficiency since Zuckerberg announced that 2023 would be a year of efficiency. The user growth rate was relatively strong compared to the previous quarters. In a statement, Zuckerberg said, We had a good quarter and our community continues to grow. We're getting more efficient, so we can build better products faster and put ourselves in a stronger position to deliver our long-term vision. Meta has a long hill to climb.

The company also reported that profits fell by nearly a quarter compared to the same period in the previous year, to $5.7 billion. Price per advertisement, an indicator of the company's core digital ad business, also decreased by 17% from the year prior.

Meta has been in the midst of a massive restructuring, as it seeks to recover from a perfect storm of heightened competition, lingering recession fears resulting in fewer ad dollars and a multibillion dollar effort to build a future version of the internet it calls the metaverse. In November Meta said in a statement that it would eliminate 11,000 jobs, the single largest round of cuts in its history. In March, Zuckerberg announced that Meta would lay off another 10,000 employees. All told, the cuts will shrink Meta's workforce by a quarter.

Meta took a hit of more than $1 billion related to the restructuring in the March quarter, and said it expects to realize additional charges of around $500 million related to 2023 layoffs by the end of the year.

We re increasingly doing this work from a position of strength, said Zuckerberg on a call with analysts Wednesday. The firm said it expects earnings to grow again in the current quarter compared to the previous year. It slightly lowered its expectations for full-year expenses, potentially buoying investor optimism.

The year of efficiency is off to a stronger than expected start for Meta, said Debra Aho Williamson, the chief executive of Insider Intelligence. But she added that the company can 't afford to sit still in this environment. Like other tech firms, Meta has taken to a more pronounced focus on artificial intelligence rather than the metaverse. The move comes as Meta contends with the popularity of AI tools from tech firms like Microsoft and OpenAI.

Our AI work is driving good results across our apps and business, he said. He added that the company's AI work includes efforts to build AI chat experiences in WhatsApp and Messenger, as well as visual creation tools for posts on Facebook and Instagram and advertisements.