Meta exceeds $500 billion valuation for first time in 9 months
By Emily Bary and Jon Swartz
Facebook parent company announced another 10,000 layoffs Tuesday
Meta Platforms Inc.'s latest job cuts are resonating with investors, helping give the company a closing valuation above $500 billion for the first time since June.
Shares of Meta (META) closed up 7.3% in trading Tuesday after the company announced plans to cut 10,000 more workers over several months. In November, Meta announced more than 11,000 layoffs.
See more: Meta to cut 10,000 more jobs in latest round of layoffs for Facebook parent
Meta's Tuesday move gave it a valuation upward of $500 billion for the first time since June 8, 2022, according to Dow Jones Market Data.
The Facebook parent company still has a way to go to recapture its former market-cap glory: Meta was worth as much as $1.078 trillion at its September 2021 peak But Meta has also made quite the climb from its recent lows, as the company was worth just $236 billion at its lowest point in early November 2022.
Meta was the 25th most valuable U.S. company at the end of several early November sessions, but it's worked it's way up to No. 8 currently. Meta sits comfortably ahead of Visa Inc. (V) but trails Apple Inc. (AAPL), Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL)(GOOGL), Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN), Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRKA), Nvidia Corp. (NVDA) and Tesla Inc. (TSLA)
The company was the fifth largest U.S. company by market cap as recently as December 2021.
Read: Mark Zuckerberg warns that 'new economic reality' could continue for years as Meta makes more layoffs
What's changed for Meta recently? Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg and his team are listening to what Wall Street wants. Investors were jittery last fall when Meta talked up big spending plans despite growth pressures, but Meta's management got the message and instituted the first round of big job cuts, followed by Tuesday's second wave of cuts.
They're both part of Zuckerberg's broader vision for a "year of efficiency," a tagline Meta first shared on its latest earnings call and repeated in Tuesday's job-cut announcement.
"As I've talked about efficiency this year, I've said that part of our work will involve removing jobs -- and that will be in service of both building a leaner, more technical company and improving our business performance to enable our long term vision," he said in a Tuesday note to staffers that was also shared to the company's newsroom.
During Meta's most recent quarterly earnings report in February, Meta posted a sharp drop in profits and reported its third straight quarterly decline in revenue. In a conference call with analysts, Zuckerberg vowed that 2023 would be the "year of efficiency" after years of profligate spending and hiring as the company pursues its long-term version of the metaverse.
On the call, Zuckerberg warned more job cuts were coming. He said Meta would focus on "flattening" its organization and "removing some layers of middle management to make decisions faster."
"As part of this, we're going to be more proactive about cutting projects that aren't performing or may no longer be as crucial, but my main focus is on increasing the efficiency of how we execute our top priorities," Zuckerberg said in February.
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March 15, 2023 08:27 ET (12:27 GMT)
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