Meta’s stock plunges on ‘aggressive’ AI spending plans

Meta’s stock plunges on ‘aggressive’ AI spending plans

Apr 25,2024
London CNN  — 

Shares in Meta plunged in premarket trading Thursday as the company’s plans to “invest aggressively” in artificial intelligence spooked investors.

Meta’s stock was down around 13%, threatening to wipe almost $163 billion off its market value, as investors looked beyond bumper first-quarter earnings to focus on the huge costs to the company of building an AI future.

Meta, which owns Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram, said Wednesday that first-quarter profit more than doubled year-on-year, while revenue was up 27%. But an increase of as much as $5 billion in projected AI Investments — and the likelihood of further increases in subsequent years — made shareholders uneasy.

“The language around spending plans has become bolder once more, and this could be what’s spooking markets,” Sophie Lund-Yates, lead equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, wrote in a note Thursday.

“For all Meta’s bold AI plans, it can’t afford to take its eye off the nucleus of the business — its core advertising activities… Meta’s resources are vast but not infinite, and its digital advertising market share needs defending at all costs,” she added.

Meta said full-year capital expenditure would be in the range of $35-40 billion — up from previous guidance of $30-37 billion — as it continues to accelerate infrastructure Investments to support AI.

“We expect capital expenditures will continue to increase next year as we invest aggressively to support our ambitious AI research and product development efforts,” the company added in a statement.

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