Meta earnings: What to expect today from the Facebook parent company

Meta Platforms Inc.’s surging stock is expected to advance even further Thursday when the social-media company is expected to announce a bump in advertising revenue in its fourth-quarter results.

Here’s what analysts are looking for ahead of Meta’s
META,
-2.48%

 earnings report, which is due out after the closing bell.

What to expect

Earnings: Analysts tracked by FactSet on average expect Meta to report earnings of $4.82 a share, more than twice the $1.76 a share reported a year ago.

Revenue: Analysts on average expect Meta to report $39.1 billion in total fourth-quarter revenue, compared with $32.2 billion a year ago.

Stock movement: Meta’s stock has skyrocketed 170% over the past 12 months, while the S&P 500 index 
SPX
has climbed 21%.

Of the 63 analysts covering Meta’s stock on FactSet, 45 rate it as a buy, 10 as hold and one as sell. Their average price target for Meta shares is $397.70.

What analysts are saying

Two days after Google parent Alphabet Inc.
GOOGL,
-7.50%

GOOG,
-7.35%

reported strong ad sales that nonetheless disappointed some investors, Meta is expected to benefit from a surge in digital advertising.

Read more: Alphabet’s stock dips because advertising was good, but not good enough

“Firing on all cylinders,” Jefferies analyst Brent Thill said in a note Sunday, jacking his price target on Meta shares to $455 from $425. “Our recent digital ad checks have been the most positive we’ve seen in several
years.”

Seaport Research Partners analyst Aaron Kessler raised his price target to $435 from $390 on the belief that Meta’s digital ads will take off and AI initiatives will inflate the company’s bottom line.

If there is any cause for concern, it remains Meta’s standing with federal lawmakers.

On Wednesday, Meta Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg made his eighth visit to Capitol Hill and faced a barrage of heated questions from members of the Senate Judiciary Committee about what Meta is doing to protect youngsters.

Read more: Big Tech faces another day of reckoning on Capitol Hill over kids’ online safety

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