Meta plans $39 bn Capex, driven by data centers, servers

Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc informed its revenue fell 4 percent to $27.71 billion during the third quarter of 2022.
Meta sales Q3 2022Facebook said its monthly active users (MAUs) rose 2 percent to 2.96 billion as of September 30, 2022. Ad impressions increased by 17 percent and the average price per ad decreased by 18 percent in the third quarter of 2022.

Facebook said headcount was 87,314 as of September 30, 2022, an increase of 28 percent year-over-year. Facebook indicated that there will be job reduction during the current quarter.

Facebook is expecting fourth-quarter revenue of $30-32.5 billion.

Facebook is making changes to operate more efficiently. Facebook is holding some teams flat in terms of headcount, shrinking others and investing headcount growth only in highest priorities. “We expect headcount at the end of 2023 will be approximately in-line with third quarter 2022 levels.”

Facebook expects 2022 expenses to be in the range of $85-87 billion against previous guidance of $85-88 billion. This includes an estimated $900 million in additional charges related to consolidating office facilities footprint in the fourth quarter of 2022.

Facebook expects 2023 expenses will be in the range of $96-101 billion. This includes an estimated $2 billion in charges related to consolidating office facilities footprint.

Capital expenditures, including principal payments on finance leases, were $9.52 billion for the third quarter of 2022.

Meta expects 2022 capital expenditures to be $32-33 billion against previous guidance of $30-34 billion.

For 2023, Meta expects capital expenditures to be in the range of $34-39 billion, driven by investments in data centers, servers, and network infrastructure. An increase in AI capacity is driving substantially all of capital expenditure growth in 2023.

Meta forecast that its full-year 2023 total expenses would be $96 billion to $101 billion, significantly higher than a revised estimate for 2022 total expenses of $85 billion to $87 billion. That includes an estimated $2.9 billion in charges over the course of both 2022 and 2023 from the office downsizing.

Meta is carrying out several overhauls of its apps and ads products to keep its core business pumping out profits, while also investing $10 billion a year in a bet on metaverse hardware and software.

Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg has said he expects the metaverse investments to take about a decade to bear fruit. In the meantime, he has had to freeze hiring, shutter projects and reorganize teams to trim costs.

Zuckerberg said plays of Meta’s TikTok-like short-video product Reels now number more than 140 billion across Facebook and Instagram each day, up 50 percent from six months ago, and its revenue run rates are now $3 billion annually.

He believes Reels is gaining against rival TikTok, he added, with Reels being reshared more than 1 billion times a day.

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