Meta founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg's fortune rose by more than $28 billion between the morning coffee and lunch breaks on Friday, after the company's shares rose more than 20% on better-than-reported earnings and profits. Expectations and for the first time in its history, it announced a cash dividend to shareholders.
Revenue at Meta, the company that owns social networking platform Facebook, rose 25% to $40.1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2023, after $32.2 billion in the same quarter a year earlier. This is the fastest growth rate recorded since mid-2021 and provides further evidence that the online advertising market continues to recover.
Meta's net income tripled to $14 billion from $4.65 billion a year earlier.
The company expects first-quarter sales to be between $34.5 billion and $37 billion. Analysts had expected no more than $33.8 billion.
Zuckerberg owns about 350 million shares in the company, according to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, his fortune currently exceeds $140 billion, making him the fifth richest person in the world.
According to a report prepared by CNN, Zuckerberg will benefit from the company's dividend by about $700 million annually, assuming quarterly profits stay the same regardless of whether he sells or buys more company stock.
Strong business results, along with the dividend announcement, overshadowed the damage some expected to the company's stock, Zuckerberg, along with a group of other social media company leaders, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. Risks caused by products. Their companies focus on youth and children.
Zuckerberg and Facebook
Zuckerberg was questioned about internal meta documents stating the company estimates the lifetime value of a teenage user at $270, along with the company's transparency about how it monetizes user data.
Zuckerberg apologized to the parents in attendance, saying their children were affected by social media.
He said: “I'm sorry for everything you've been through. No one should have to go through what your families have to go through, that's why we're investing so much and will continue to build across the industry. Efforts, make sure no one has to go through what your families have to go through.” .
Zuckerberg is not yet forty years old. He co-founded the social networking service Facebook with his Harvard roommates in 2004. In 2007, when he was 23 years old, he was the youngest self-made billionaire in the world at the time.
The site was initially launched only on select university campuses, then quickly expanded beyond colleges, reaching one billion users in 2012.
Zuckerberg went public in May 2012. Since then, he has used his money to organize many charitable initiatives.