Meta founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks during the Meta Connect event at Meta headquarters in Menlo Park, California on September 27, 2023.
Josh Edelson | AFP | Good pictures
Meta on Thursday announced its first-ever quarterly dividend, and authorized an expanded $50 billion Purchase of stock project.
The company joins Apple, Microsoft and Oracle in paying a dividend of 50 cents per share. The board intends to pay a cash dividend on a quarterly basis “subject to market conditions”.
Meta announced the news with its fourth-quarter financials, which topped both top and bottom line estimates.
“Introducing a dividend gives us a more balanced capital return plan and some additional flexibility in how we return capital in the future,” Chief Financial Officer Susan Li told analysts on the company's earnings call.
Shares rose more than 14% in extended trading. Dividend will be paid in March to all shareholders till 22nd February.
The post-market rally continues the upswing in Meta's shares after the company's market capitalization nearly tripled by 2023. The stock broke its 2021 record last month.
With a current market capitalization of $1 trillion, the expanded authorization equates to 5% of outstanding shares. As of December, the company had $30.9 billion available to buy back shares.
Neither Amazon nor Alphabet have ever paid a dividend. Microsoft issued its first dividend in 2003, while Oracle launched in 2009.
See: Early meta investor Brad Gerstner tackles big tech
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