Updated at 1:42 pm EST
Meta Platforms (FB) – Get Meta Platforms Inc. Report began trading under their new ticker symbol META Thursday in the final move of its corporate re-branding as its switches focus from its Facebook roots to an expanded digital media business.
Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg detailed the moves last October when unveiled the new company title — Meta Platforms — amid what he said was a corporate brand that was too-closely tied to a singular product — its Facebook social media page –and argued that its myriad activities, as well as its drive to build a so-called shared virtual reality ‘metaverse’, necessitated change.
“Over time, I hope we are seen as a metaverse company,” Zuckerberg said last year.
Meta will sit atop all of Facebook’s current properties, including WhatsApp and Instagram, although there are no significant change in the current corporate structure.
The new ticker symbol, however, ends more than ten years of trading as FB on the Nasdaq, where the company debuted its $19 billion IPO on May 18, 2012.
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Meta Platforms shares were marked 3.65% lower in early afternoon trading Thursday to change hands $189.44 each, a move that would extend the stock’s year-to-date decline to around 44% and value the social media group at around $515 billion.
The new ticker change also comes amid another major event for the group, with longtime chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg announcing her decision to step down later this year.
Sandberg, who is widely credited with navigating Facebook’s transition from a brand value to ad-generated revenue, served under CEO Mark Zuckerberg for fourteen years and was, in many respects, the professional public face of the social media giant.
She’s continue to serve on the Meta board, she said, after departing her role in the fall, and hinted at a move in global philanthropy following her tenure at Facebook.
Facebook posted its slowest revenue growth in ten years over the first quarter, but saw a rebound in daily active users that offset a near $3 billion loss in its metaverse division and a softer-than-expected near-term forecast.
Group revenues, Meta said, rose 6.6% to $27.908 billion, nearly all of it coming from the new ‘Family of Apps’ division the company created last year, missing analysts’ estimates of a $28.2 billion tally. Ad revenues were up 6.1% to $27 billion.
Reality Labs, the division that will house the company’s metaverse plans, generated revenues of $695 million, but lost $2.96 billion for the quarter after a 2021 loss of $10.2 billion.
Looking into the currently quarter, Meta said it sees revenues in the region of $28 to $30 billion, again falling shy of the Street consensus of $30.5 billion.