Meta made a big announcement on Thursday (01.02.2024) – they’re sharing the wealth! For the first time ever, Meta is going to pay out some cash to its shareholders regularly. They’re also planning to buy back a bunch of their own shares, up to $50 billion worth. 

Starting with a dividend of 50 cents per share, Meta is joining the ranks of big players like Apple, Microsoft, and Oracle, who regularly hand out cash to their shareholders. The folks in charge at Meta want to keep doing this every three months, as long as things in the market are looking good. 

The good news came alongside Meta’s financial report for the last quarter, which showed they did even better than people expected. Susan Li, the Chief Financial Officer, explained that adding a dividend is a way to balance out how they give back to their investors and gives them more options for the future. 

Investors were pretty happy about the news, and Meta’s stock shot up more than 14% in trading after the announcement. If you’re a shareholder, you’ll see that dividend money in your account in March, if you were on the list of shareholders as of February 22. 

This good news comes at a time when Meta’s stock has been on a winning streak. In 2023 alone, the company’s market value almost tripled. With a current value of a whopping $1 trillion, Meta’s decision to buy back shares is a big deal – it’s about 5% of all the shares they have out there. As of December, they had about $30.9 billion set aside to buy back shares. 

It’s interesting to note that not all big tech companies do this. For example, neither Amazon nor Alphabet have ever paid out a dividend. Microsoft started doing it in 2003, and Oracle followed suit in 2009. So, Meta is joining an exclusive club with this move! 

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