Amazon and Meta Surge after Results, while Apple Drops

REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo
Meta AI logo is seen in this illustration taken September 28, 2023.

Feb 1 (Reuters) – Meta Platforms META.O and AMZN.O added a combined $280 billion in stock market value late on Thursday after the Big Tech duo reported quarterly results that impressed investors, while Apple’s AAPL.O value shrank by $70 billion after its results.

Meta’s stock surged over 14% to a record high $451 after the bell, elevating its market capitalization by $148 billion to $1.16 trillion after the Facebook owner declared its first-ever dividend.

While dividends are associated with mature, slow-growth companies, Meta delivered a 25% jump in revenue to $40.1 billion for the December quarter, fueled by robust advertising and device sales.

Amazon’s stock jumped 8% after the company beat December-quarter revenue expectations on strong growth in online spending during the critical holiday shopping season. That put the online shopping and cloud-computing heavyweight’s market capitalization at $1.78 trillion.

Apple’s quarterly results beat analysts’ expectations, but its sales in China missed estimates and its stock dipped 3.3%. Apple faces tough competition in China, which has worried Wall Street in recent months.

Investor optimism about generative AI drove rallies in the U.S. stock market’s most valuable companies last year, with many hitting all-time highs in recent sessions.

Microsoft MSFT.O in January eclipsed Apple as the world’s most valuable company, with investors viewing Apple as lagging in the artificial-intelligence race between Wall Street’s tech heavyweights.

Asked on an investor call about generative AI, Apple CEO Tim Cook said, “We’ve got some things that we’re incredibly excited about that we’ll be talking about later this year.”

Microsoft’s lead over Apple in stock market value will probably grow over the next five years thanks to its early advantage in AI, 13 analysts consulted last week by Reuters unanimously agreed.

“For Apple to be able to accelerate growth, we would need either a material contribution from new products like the Vision Pro or a generative AI driven cycle to come through the iPhone 16,” D.A. Davidson analyst Gil Luria said following its results.

Apple starts U.S. sales of its Vision Pro mixed-reality headset on Friday.

In its report after the bell, Meta said its 2024 capital expenditures would reach between $30 billion and $37 billion, a $2 billion increase over its previous plan, driven by investments in servers, some of which will be used for AI.

Chipmakers Nvidia NVDA.O and Advanced Micro Devices AMD.O both climbed about almost 2% in extended trade, while server maker Super Micro Computer SMCI.O added 2%.

The extended-trade surge in Meta’s market capitalization was equivalent to more than five times the entire $26 billion value of smaller social media rival Snap Inc SNAP.N.