Meta surged 17% in premarket trading on Friday as the Facebook parent’s first dividend declaration and robust results increased expectations of strong returns from its investments in “metaverse” technologies and artificial intelligence infrastructure.
Days ahead of Facebook’s 20th anniversary, Meta opened a new tab that authorized an additional fifty billion dollars in share repurchases and said its quarterly dividend would be fifty percent per share.
According to LSEG data, the social media giant is the first of its generation of internet juggernauts to issue a dividend, and the fourth from the “Magnificent Seven” stocks, with its yield of 0.51% matching that of Apple.
However, the new dividend plan would mean a hefty payout for CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who owns about 350 million Meta Class A and Class B shares.
The world’s biggest social media company has been spending billions of dollars over the past decade to boost its computing capacity for generative AI products, adding to Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, and hardware devices such as its Ray-Ban smart glasses.