Mark Zuckerberg’s net worth saw a massive boost this week, as Meta’s latest earnings report far exceeded Wall Street’s expectations. The company’s shares surged nearly 20%, adding $28.1 billion to Zuckerberg’s net worth and catapulting him to fourth place on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index with $170.5 billion.
Meta reported fourth-quarter earnings per share of $3.00, soundly beating analyst estimates of $2.20 per share. Total revenue came in at $32.17 billion, also topping expectations. The upside surprise sent Meta’s stock price spiking by almost 20% in after-hours trading.
The upbeat results provide a major recovery for Zuckerberg’s wealth after it plummeted below $35 billion in late 2022 amidst a tech sector meltdown fueled by inflation and rising interest rates. Meta’s turnaround and stock surge have restored Zuckerberg’s fortune to record highs.
This staggering wealth accumulation comes on the heels of Meta’s first ever dividend for investors—a 50-cent quarterly dividend per share on Class A and B common stock. Zuckerberg holds approximately 350 million shares, meaning he stands to take home a whopping $700 million dividend payout each year.
The move signals Meta’s confidence in future profit growth despite dwindling acquisition opportunities. It may also help appease shareholders as Zuckerberg continues to pour billions into ambitious long-term bets on the metaverse and artificial intelligence.
After facing widespread criticism for his expensive metaverse investments last year, Zuckerberg took drastic steps to ease market pressure. Meta fired over 20,000 employees, narrowed priorities, and boosted stock buybacks by $50 billion.
For now, the strategy shift seems to be paying dividends, literally and figuratively. Meta’s stock has nearly tripled since 2023 began as profitability stabilizes. But only time will tell whether Zuckerberg’s virtual reality visions can sustain growth and justify this week’s massive personal windfall.
One thing is clear: with an additional $28 billion in the bank, Mark Zuckerberg has plenty of runway to fund Meta’s transformation, no matter how speculative the long-term payoff. Investors cheering the comeback will be watching closely in the quarters to come.