Meta's paying dividends for the first time ever and it's meant a $700 million pay rise for Mark Zuckerberg

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The twelvemonth 2024 is disconnected to a bully commencement for Mark Zuckerberg, and nan remainder of it looks for illustration it will beryllium conscionable arsenic saccharine courtesy of a dividend payout of $700 cardinal crossed nan adjacent 4 quarters.

On Meta’s earning telephone this week, main financial serviceman Susan Li confirmed a regular dividend would now beryllium paid retired to shareholders each 4th taxable to committee support and marketplace conditions.

Li explained Meta was keen to return superior to shareholders while maintaining finance successful nan company, which it has typically achieved via stock buybacks. However arsenic good arsenic announcing buybacks—to nan tune of $20 cardinal for afloat twelvemonth of 2023—Li added nan institution wanted to “modestly evolve” its return to shareholders.

For CEO Zuckerberg, who holds immoderate 350 cardinal shares successful nan Big Tech elephantine according to Bloomberg, a 50-cent-per Class A and B banal dividend intends a payout successful nan region of $175 cardinal per 4th from March onwards.

Some elemental mathematics spits retired an eye-watering figure, pinch Zuckerberg group to rake successful $700 cardinal crossed nan twelvemonth should nan dividend level enactment astatine 50 cents.

However nan bully news for Zuckerberg’s fortunes don’t extremity there. The father-of-three, estimated by Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index to beryllium worthy $142 billion, is besides getting further boosts courtesy of nan company’s beardown stock price.

In nan past twelvemonth unsocial Meta’s stock value has rocketed much than 100% to beryllium adjacent to $400 astatine nan clip of writing.

And Wall Street could beryllium group to boost it further, arsenic analysts were buoyed by nan group’s net telephone connected Feb. 1. Zuckerberg kicked disconnected nan call by feeding backmost connected nan results of his “year of efficiency”, which included layoffs and hiring freezes.

Zuckerberg told analysts connected nan telephone that Meta had achieved nan level of ratio it had aimed for—the business’s headcount is down 22% compared to a twelvemonth ago, now astatine conscionable complete 67,000—adding: “Being a leaner institution is helping america execute amended and faster, and we will proceed to transportation these values guardant arsenic a imperishable portion of really we operate.”

AI … AI … AI …

But everyone’s new favourite buzzword besides had nan desired effect connected stock price. The building “AI” was utilized much than 80 times by Meta staffers connected nan call—a move that has proved thing of a sure-fire measurement to pique nan interests of investors.

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, for example, saw his wealthiness spike by $2 cardinal past outpouring aft Microsoft mentioned artificial intelligence much than 50 times connected its net call.

Courtesy of nan affirmative image Zuckerberg and his squad had for analysts—and nan clear show of attraction connected nan emerging technology—Meta’s stock value changeable up successful nan hours pursuing nan announcement, boosting it by 14% successful this twelvemonth to date.

Outside of AI excitement, Meta posted a 25% summation successful gross compared to nan aforesaid play nan erstwhile year, up to $40.11 cardinal compared to $32.1 cardinal for Q4 2022. This resulted successful a 16% full-year summation from nan anterior 12 months, up to $134.9 cardinal from $116.6 billion.

Despite nan emergence of rival societal media apps for illustration TikTok, regular progressive users crossed Meta platforms for illustration Facebook, Instagram and Threads were up 8% year-on-year, pinch advertisement impressions up 28%.

A further boon for investors is nan authorization of yet much stock buybacks—potentially upping nan value of nan stocks further—with nan institution announcing a further $50 cardinal repurchase authorization.

Meta did not instantly respond to Fortune’s petition for comment.

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