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Positive Meta developments, including a good Q4 outing and rousing Zuckerberg’s comments, saw shares attain a decade-long positive phase.
On Thursday, Meta Platforms (NASDAQ: META) shares surged by more than 23%, marking one of the stock’s best days in a decade. This positive development benefited from optimistic commentary by Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and a flurry of analyst upgrades triggered by the company’s solid Q4 outing.
More on Meta Shares Decade-long Development
In addition to seeing its best performance in a decade, Meta Platform’s shares also rose to their highest point since last September. At the time, META was weeks away from reporting a horrible Q3 2022 earnings result which saw Zuckerberg come under fire. Several Wall Street analysts openly questioned the tech giant’s leadership amid an underperforming industry. However, analysts took a different stance following Meta’s latest quarterly outing and subsequent stock surge.
Commenting on the company’s revenue beat of $32.17 billion compared to the $31.53 billion expected, Evercore ISI analyst Mark Mahaney posed the question: “Does META Really Deserve To Be Up 20% In The After-Market?!”
To which the Evercore ISI analyst also followed up with an emphatic “Yes!” in addition, Mahaney cited “materially reduced expense projections” and a larger-than-expected share buyback scheme. The analyst increased his price target to $275 and doubled down on his ‘outperform rating’ for Meta’s stock.
Meanwhile, Rosenblatt’s Barton Crockett upgraded his META rating to a ‘buy’ and set a $220 price target. Crockett further said his reason for the update was due to a more “enticing” valuation of Meta’s stock. Elsewhere, Guggenheim’s Michael Morris revised his META price target to $210 and maintained a ‘buy’ rating. In addition, he cited reduced costs and faith in management messaging on “momentum.”
Zuckerberg Rousing Comments
Analysts took to Zuckerberg’s recent ‘Year of Efficiency’ comments regarding Meta’s management outlook for this year. The Meta CEO’s guidance came amid its laudable fourth-quarter earnings report. Zuckerberg explained, “Our management theme for 2023 is the ‘Year of Efficiency,’ and we’re focused on becoming a stronger and more nimble organization.”
Furthermore, Zuckerberg committed to cutting costs while increasing efficiency amid economic uncertainty. The CEO also demonstrated that increasing profitability is of paramount importance to Meta. Touching on the company’s admirable growth trajectory before last year’s slump, the Meta CEO said in an earnings call:
“The first 18 years, I think we grew it 20%, 30% compound, or a lot more every year. And then obviously that changed very dramatically in 2022, where our revenue was negative for growth, for the first time in the company’s history.”
Regarding the future, Zuckerberg took a practical and realistic approach, saying:
“We don’t anticipate that [prolonged negative performances are] going to continue. But I also don’t think it’s going to go back to the way it was before [uninterrupted profitability].”
Following its Q4 2022 revenue beat, Meta lowered its total expense estimate for this year to between $89 billion and $95 billion. This reduction marked a positive drawdown from the company’s previous outlook of 94 billion to $100 billion.