Investors are far from impressed with the performances of tech enterprises in the recently-ended quarter, and for good reason. Google-parent Alphabet reported weaker-than-expected earnings for the third quarter of the year, while Microsoft clocked its slowest Q1 growth in the past five years. Now, the earnings of Facebook-parent Meta show the latest instance of how the online advertising market has taken a hit this year, while other macroeconomic conditions have made it tough for companies to grow and record greater profits.
The financial highlights show that apart from a growth in costs and expenses, the quarter ended September 30, 2022 failed to see any sort of growth – instead, steep falls were noted – thanks to factors such as intensifying competition with Chinese upstart TikTok, Apple’s iOS privacy update, and others.
Meta, in the third quarter of the year, pocketed $27.7 billion in revenue, which is an annual drop of 4%. However, it did exceed analyst estimates of $27.38 billion. Its income from operations dropped steeply by 46% to fall to $5.66 billion, while its net income fell by 52% to $4.39 billion. Its earnings per share (EPS) dropped by 49% YoY to fall to $1.64, failing to meet the estimated $1.89.
“Our community continues to grow and I’m pleased with the strong engagement we’re seeing driven by progress on our discovery engine and products like Reels,” said Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO, Meta. “While we face near-term challenges on revenue, the fundamentals are there for a return to stronger revenue growth. We’re approaching 2023 with a focus on prioritization and efficiency that will help us navigate the current environment and emerge an even stronger company.”
The company added that it has 1.98 billion daily active users (DAUs), while its monthly active users (MAUs) amount to 2.96 billion.
The company’s share price continued to tumble, as it has done this year amid a brutal selloff of tech stocks, and fell by 19% in extended trading on Wednesday to currently hover at $129.82. This also marks the company’s second consecutive decline in quarterly revenue, and things do not look to change in the near future – another drop in revenue may be on the cards for the fourth quarter of the year.
The company expects to pocket $30-32.5 billion in revenue in Q4 2022, while the expenses for the entire year are expected to be in the range of $85-87 billion. Additionally, it expects “the slight majority of our 2023 expense dollar growth to be driven by operating expenses, with the remaining growth coming from cost of revenue,” while the total expenses for the year of 2023 are anticipated to be in the range of $96-101 billion.
Meta’s Reality Labs unit houses its AR and VR tech, as well as its pursuits into the metaverse. However, it continued to clock losses as its quarterly revenue fell by nearly 49% from a year ago to $285 million, while its loss increased to $3.67 billion. Overall, the unit has lost $9.4 billion so far, and according to Meta, its operating losses are expected to grow “significantly year-over-year.”