Meta more than doubles Q1 profit but revenue guidance pulls shares down after-hours

Facebook and Instagram parent company Meta said Wednesday its first-quarter profit more than doubled, boosted by higher advertising revenue and a 6% increase on the average price of ads on its platforms. But its shares dropped sharply in after-hours trading following lukewarm revenue guidance.

Meta Platforms Inc. earned $12.37 billion, or $4.71 per share, in the January-March period. That’s up from $5.71 billion, or $2.20 per share, in the same period a year earlier.

Revenue rose 27% to $36.46 billion from $28.65 billion.

Analysts, on average, were expecting earnings of $4.32 per share on revenue of $36.14 billion, according to a poll by FactSet.

For the current quarter, the Menlo Park, California-based company said it expects revenue between $36.5 billion and $39 billion. Analysts are expecting revenue of $38.25 billion for the second quarter, which is higher than the midpoint of Meta’s guidance range.

Meta also said it expects its 2024 capital expenses to be higher than anticipated due to its investments in artificial intelligence. It is forecasting expenses in the range of $35 billion to $40 billion, up from its earlier guidance of $30 billion to $37 billion.

“Meta’s earnings should serve as a stark warning for companies reporting this earnings season,” said Thomas Monteiro, senior analyst at “Even though the company did beat estimates in all top- and bottom-line metrics, it didn’t matter as much as the reported lowering revenue expectations for Q2. This is the exact opposite of what Tesla did yesterday and goes to show that investors are currently looking at the near future with heavy mistrust.”

The number of people using Meta’s apps continued to increase, with 3.24 billion users on average for March in its “family of apps” that includes Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger. That’s up 7% year-over-year.

Meta’s shares fell almost 16% in after-hours trading.

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