Sunday, February 25, 2024
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New Dividend Makes META Stock a Slam-Dunk

If the across-the-board quarterly beats didn’t win you over, maybe the META stock dividend will

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A new earnings season always brings triumph and disappointments. This time around, Meta Platforms (NASDAQ:META) definitely belongs in the “triumph” category and truly earned its “Magnificent Seven” designation. My META stock forecast indicates that, while the stock might not look super-cheap right now, it’s worth owning for the remainder of 2024 at least.

Indeed, you’ll get more than the usual share-price appreciation from Meta Platforms this year. You’ll also get a nice bonus, which passive-income investors ought to appreciate. So, let’s delve into the details and uncover the ever-improving bull case for Meta Platforms.

META Stock Zooms Ahead on Terrific Quarterly Results

The skeptics can question Meta Platforms’ valuation all day long if they want to. They can also look askance at CEO Mark Zuckerberg as he obsesses about the metaverse. None of this, however, negates Meta Platforms’ undeniably positive fourth-quarter 2023 financial results.

These results, along with Meta Platforms’ forward guidance, could be described as across-the-board beats. For example, the company reported adjusted earnings of $5.33 per share, which surpassed the analysts’ consensus estimate of $4.82 per share.

Furthermore, while Wall Street expected Meta Platforms to generate quarterly revenue of $39.1 billion, the company actually reported $40.1 billion. This represents 25% year-over-year growth — not too shabby, you must admit.

Additionally, Meta Platforms guided for first-quarter 2024 revenue of $34.5 billion to $37 billion. There’s a beat here, as well, since Wall Street had projected current-quarter revenue of $33.9 billion for Meta Platforms. Therefore, it’s not too shocking that META stock jumped after the company released its data and outlook.

Buybacks and Dividends, Oh My!

Does Meta Platforms actually respect its shareholders? Skeptical investors might have asked that question in the past, but now there’s a definitive answer: Yes!

One way for Meta Platforms to demonstrate respect for its investors is by repurchasing the company’s own shares. This reduces the pool of available shares, thereby keeping the supply low and potentially putting a floor on the META stock price. To that end, Meta Platforms announced a $50 billion increase in the company’s share-repurchase program.

Moreover, Meta Platforms showed respect for the shareholders by disclosing the company’s upcoming first-ever dividend payment. It’s only 50 cents per share, which isn’t a mind-blowing amount when the stock price is over $400.

Still, the market is already quite enthused about Meta Platforms finally initiating dividend distributions after many years of not doing so. It’s actually prompting questions about whether other “Magnificent Seven” companies will follow Meta Platforms’ lead and initiate their own dividend programs.

Bullish META Stock Forecast: What More Could You Ask For?

I suppose you could ask for an ultra-low valuation, but let’s not nitpick. Meta Platforms’ investors now get growth and momentum, along with dividend payouts and the assurance that comes with corporate share buybacks.

It’s about as close to the total package that any reasonable investor could ask for. Consequently, my META stock forecast is definitely bullish. Feel free to pick up some Meta shares today, and get ready to reinvest the upcoming dividend distributions.

On the date of publication, David Moadel did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

David Moadel has provided compelling content – and crossed the occasional line – on behalf of Motley Fool, Crush the Street, Market Realist, TalkMarkets, TipRanks, Benzinga, and (of course) InvestorPlace.com. He also serves as the chief analyst and market researcher for Portfolio Wealth Global and hosts the popular financial YouTube channel Looking at the Markets.

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