In a significant market surge, Asian markets experienced a rally following the outstanding earnings reports from Meta and Amazon. The Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong rose approximately 2 percent in morning trading, recovering from recent slumps attributed to weak economic indicators in mainland China. Meanwhile, Japan’s Nikkei Index saw a 1 percent climb.
Meta, the parent company of Facebook, delivered a robust financial performance in the fourth quarter of the previous year, reporting revenue of $40.1 billion and a profit of $14 billion. These figures significantly exceeded analysts’ predictions, leading to a remarkable surge in Meta’s stock price by over 14 percent in after-hours trading, surpassing $445.
An essential milestone for Meta unfolded as the company, part of the tech unicorn generation, announced its decision to pay shareholders a dividend – a groundbreaking move within the industry. The dividend is set at 50 cents per share.
Expressing satisfaction with the quarter’s outcome, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg stated, “We had a good quarter as our community and business continue to grow.”
Similarly, Amazon surpassed expectations in its fourth-quarter results, reporting sales of $170 billion, resulting in a surge of up to 9 percent in its stock value. Amazon’s AWS cloud business also demonstrated robust performance, achieving $24.2 billion in revenue for the last quarter.
Amazon CEO Andy Jassy acknowledged the record-breaking holiday shopping season in Q4 and characterized it as concluding a strong year for Amazon in 2023.
The stellar performance of these tech giants significantly impacted US markets, contributing $280 billion on Thursday. The S&P500, NASDAQ Composite Index, and Dow Jones Industrial Average all closed on a positive note.
Despite the overall success, Meta and Amazon face heightened scrutiny in 2024 from US regulators concerning online safety issues and alleged antitrust breaches. Nonetheless, their remarkable fourth-quarter results offer a bright spot in an otherwise challenging start to the year.