Fueled by an insatiable demand for artificial intelligence (AI) services, Meta has emerged as one of the standout performers among mega-cap stocks, alongside the chipmaking giant Nvidia (NASDAQ: NVDA).
This resurgence not only revitalized Meta but also contributed to propelling the S&P 500 index to unprecedented two-year highs, marking 2023 as the best-ever year for the Facebook owner since going public in 2012.
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Best annual performance since 2013
Shares of Meta Platforms rose around 3% to $347.5 on December 18, its new 52-week high, before closing the trading session at $344.6. To be more precise, that is the highest closing price for META since November 2021.
But this impressive performance marks another, more significant milestone for the social media platform. With a year-to-date surge of more than 175%, META is on track for its best-ever annual performance since it debuted on the Nasdaq stock exchange in May 2012.
Further, it is also the only year in which Meta’s stock witnessed a triple-digit return besides 2013 when it surged around 105%, according to Macrotrends data.
Over the past decade, the company’s shares saw positive annual performance in each year except for 2018 and 2022. In those years, META fell 25.7% and 64.2%, respectively.
What’s driving META’s record-breaking rise?
Apart from the ongoing AI boom that propelled the broader market, Meta’s impressive turnaround can be attributed to sound business decision-making.
In the wake of its 2022 slump, the company implemented a string of strategic cost-cutting measures and put a greater focus on user data security. This, coupled with a resurgence in the wider tech sector and recovery in the digital ad market, led to impressive financial gains for the social media behemoth.
More recently, META has been among the many beneficiaries of the “everything rally” prompted by the Federal Reserve’s dovish pivot, announced last week. Notably, the US central bank confirmed investors’ hopes that it will begin cutting rates next year, a move aimed at untightening economic conditions and creating a more favorable environment for the capital markets.
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