Meta Reports a Loss of $10.2B on Augmented/Virtual Reality Operations in 2021



Meta Platforms (META) reported that it lost $10.2 billion in 2021 on its newly broken out Facebook Reality Labs (FRL) division, which comprises its augmented and virtual reality operations, in its fourth quarter earnings report.

  • Meta announced in the third quarter that it would be breaking out results for the division for the first time to show the performance and investments in a group that it considers key to the next generation of online social experiences. The company even changed its name from Facebook to Meta Platforms to emphasize the importance of the metaverse to its future.
  • FRL generated $2.3 billion in revenue in 2021, a small fraction of the almost $116 billion generated from Meta’s family of apps, which include Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. In Q4, FRL reported a loss of $3.3 billion on revenue of $877 million. That was up from a loss of $2.6 billion on revenue of $558 million in the third quarter.
  • Meta previously estimated that FRL would reduce its overall operating profit by about $10 billion in 2021, and said it was committed to spending even more on the division for the next several years.
  • Overall, Meta reported adjusted Q4 earnings per share of $3.67, falling short of consensus analyst estimates of $3.85, according to FactSet, and revenues of $33.7 billion, just ahead of estimates of $33.4 billion.
  • Shares of Meta tumbled more than 20% in after-hours trading Wednesday following the release of the results.
  • The earnings follow Meta’s Jan. 31 announcement that it has axed its stablecoin project Diem, selling the project’s assets and operations to Silvergate for $182 million in total.
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This is a developing story and will be updated.

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