Mark Zuckerberg said he was ‘fairly assured’ Meta is heading in a ‘good course’ as its stock crashed 20% after a huge earnings miss

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

  • Mark Zuckerberg said Wednesday he was “pretty confident” Meta is heading “in a good direction.”
  • He spoke after Meta’s third-quarter earnings missed Wall Street’s forecasts and its stock crashed 20%.
  • Meta said it plans to maintain investing closely in its metaverse mission, which is hammering its income.

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Wednesday he was “pretty confident” his firm is heading “in a good direction” as its stock cratered 20% on the again of a worse-than-expected third-quarter earnings report.

“We’ve been through a couple of these cycles before already, and I’m pretty confident this is going in a good direction,” Zuckerberg said in a name with analysts after the report was printed. 

He added: “And while we continue to navigate some challenging dynamics – a volatile macroeconomy, increasing competition, ads signal loss, and growing costs from our long-term investments – I have to say that our product trends look better from what I see than some of the commentary I’ve seen suggests.”

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Meta’s third-quarter internet revenue crashed 52% year-on-year, to $4.4 billion, as R&D prices jumped 45% largely due to the corporate’s investments in the metaverse. Meta stock fell almost 20% in after-hours buying and selling Wednesday, to $104.30, its lowest level since 2016.

The scale of Meta’s metaverse investments are being intently scrutinized by traders who’re involved they’re detracting from the corporate’s core social-media companies, such as Facebook and Instagram.

Zuckerberg was grilled on Wednesday’s earnings name by analysts eager to know extra concerning the firm’s metaverse plans, engagement ranges for TikTok competitor Instagram Reels, and shrinking digital promoting income.

Zuckerberg insisted Meta’s work on the metaverse can be “of historic importance.”

He acknowledged that, in phrases of income, “we’re still behind where I think we should be,” however said the corporate ought to return to “healthier” income progress subsequent yr. For the second quarter of 2022, Meta posted its first-ever year-on-year income decline, of 0.9%.

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Meta splits its enterprise into two principal segments. Reality Labs, which handles Oculus and every part metaverse-related, reported third-quarter income of simply $285 million – a drop of just about half in contrast with the identical interval in 2021. The phase has misplaced $9.4 billion thus far this yr, together with $3.7 billion in the fourth quarter – and its expenses will “increase meaningfully” in 2023, Zuckerberg warned.

On Tuesday, Brad Gerstner, whose fund Altimeter Capital owns tons of of hundreds of thousands of {dollars}’ price of Meta shares, urged the social-media company to cut back on its metaverse investments and reduce its headcount by at least 20%. The firm has “lost the confidence of investors,” he wrote in an open letter.

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Net revenue from Meta’s social-media phase additionally crashed, falling by greater than a quarter to $9.3 billion in the three months to September 30. But Zuckerberg said engagement with its apps was nonetheless excessive, with the variety of day by day customers on Facebook “the highest it’s ever been,” and greater than 2 billion folks utilizing WhatsApp every day.

While expenditure on metaverse initiatives is set to rise, Meta is cracking the whip in different departments. The firm has “increased scrutiny” on all areas of working bills, Zuckerberg said, together with reducing its office footprint.

Zuckerberg additionally said that Meta was freezing hiring in some groups and “shrinking” headcount in others, with hiring restricted to the corporate’s “highest priorities.” He said that Meta had elevated its whole headcount by 28% year-over-year to 87,314, and that he anticipated it to stay roughly flat till the tip of 2023.

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