Meta (META:NASDAQ) gets into its stride, posts highest quarterly sales since 2021

Meta posts highest quarterly sales since 2021

Meta (META:NASDAQ) posted its highest quarterly sales growth since 2021 as digital advertising continued to recover. The social-media giant’s ad revenue grew about 12% in the quarter, a turnaround driven by improved use of artificial-intelligence technology that has enabled better ad-targeting.

The social media giant’s advertising revenue grew about 12% in the quarter, a turnaround driven by improved use of AI technology that has enabled better ad-targeting, after Apple (APPL:NASDAQ) privacy changes in 2021 cost the company $10 billion in sales.

Alphabet’s growth continues

Alphabet (GOOG:NASDAQ), the parent company of Google, reported its second straight quarter of accelerating growth. Alphabet reported $74.6 billion in revenue for the April-June quarter, up 7% from a year earlier.

Online advertisers have increased spending in recent months, analysts said, providing some relief to technology companies that rely on the income to support research in artificial intelligence and other far-flung ventures.

This result marks Google’s second straight quarter of accelerating growth following an extended slowdown coming out of the pandemic, which boosted demand for internet services.

Intel returns back to profit

Intel (INTC:NASDAQ) reported a return to profit after two straight quarters of losses and issued a stronger-than-expected forecast on the back of a resurgent PC market

Intel posted net income of $1.5 billion, or 35 cents per share, versus a net loss of $454 million, or a loss of 11 cents per share, in the same quarter last year.

The $1.5 billion profit defied analysts’ expectations of another loss. It came after the $2.76 billion shortfall that Intel reported the previous quarter, the worst ever recorded for the storied chip maker.

Oil giants profits drop

Quarterly profits of Chevron (CVX:NYSE) and Exxon Mobil (XOM:NYSE) dipped from last year’s records. Exxon Mobil and Chevron collectively banked nearly $14 billion in second-quarter profits Friday, down from last year’s record-breaking levels but adding to their war chests as they eye acquisitions in the oil patch.

Ford anticipates losses in its EV business

Ford (F:NYSE) warned of steeper-than-expected losses in its electric-vehicle business. The automaker had earlier warned of a $3 billion loss this year. Ford now expects its EV business unit, Ford Model e, to post an operating loss of about $4.5 billion this year.

The projected loss was revealed at a briefing for investors and analysts on Thursday to discuss details of the automaker’s new financial reporting format. The company raised its annual pretax profit expectation, saying it remains on track to achieve a pretax margin of 8% by late 2022.

Ford plans to quadruple sales of gas-electric hybrids in the next five years, as it struggles to reduce the cost of its money-losing first-generation battery electric vehicles, executives said.

Spotify losses deepen

Spotify’s (SPOT:NASDAQ) losses are deepening as the company makes podcasting cuts and faces higher music royalty costs.

The streaming giant handily surpassed subscriber-growth expectations for its latest quarter, boosted by Gen Z and overseas listeners, but missed its revenue target and gave a weaker-than-expected outlook for the current quarter.

The company is trying to improve profitability by reducing its investments in podcasting and raising subscription prices. On Monday, Spotify said it is raising its premium subscription to $10.99 a month in the U.S. from its longstanding price of $9.99.

Banc of California buys PacWest Bancorp

Banc of California (BANC:NYSE) agreed to buy its larger rival PacWest Bancorp (PACW:NASDAQ) in an all-stock deal, as the two lenders seek strength after the industry turmoil this spring.

Both banks have come through the regional-banking crisis in relatively good health, and both stocks have recovered somewhat. But midsize banks still face questions about their stability in the aftermath of the rapid failure of Silicon Valley Bank in March.

PacWest has around 70 branches, mostly in California, while Banc of California’s branch network is roughly half that size.