META Makes History!

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Editor's Note: In today's Value Meter, Contributing Analyst Jody Chudley shares his thoughts on whether Meta Platforms (Nasdaq: META) is a "Buy" after making history last week.

But Jody has a lot more thoughts on Big Tech and the so-called Magnificent Seven...

In fact, he's written a fascinating essay for the February issue of The Oxford Income Letter about Big Tech's dominance in 2023 and what it could mean for the markets over the next five years.

After I read it, I immediately emailed him to tell him it's one of my favorite things he's ever written.

The February issue comes out on Tuesday morning - go here to make sure you're eligible to receive it!

- James Ogletree, Managing Editor

Is Meta Still a "Buy" After Making History?

Jody Chudley, Contributing Analyst, The Oxford Club

Jody Chudley

Going into February 2022, shares of Meta Platforms (Nasdaq: META) had been nearly cut in half over the prior six months.

The steep drop in stock price had my contrarian instincts tingling.

When I took a hard look at the company on February 17, 2022, I concluded that the stock was a "complete steal."

Meta has been in the news again over the past week - and for historic reasons. But before we dig into its current valuation, let me finish telling you the backstory...

In the fourth quarter of 2021, the company had seen a mind-blowing 3.6 billion people use at least one app in its "family" of apps, which includes Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp.

That means almost half of all people on the planet had used a Meta app!

On top of that, Meta's stock market valuation looked incredibly appealing.

Its price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio had dropped to just 17, a historically cheap number for this business.

And if I didn't include the $10 billion loss that Meta had rung up investing in the metaverse, its P/E ratio dropped to 13!

To me, that was jaw-droppingly cheap for a business that had generated $58 billion in cash flow from operations in 2021 and had a whopping $50 billion in cash on its incredible balance sheet.

I also loved the fact that analysts were still expecting Meta to grow revenue by $10 billion in 2022 and another $17 billion in 2023.

My final conclusion on February 17, 2022, was this:

"The stock could decline further in the short term, but I think in the medium to long term, right now is your chance to nab a great entry valuation."

Fast-forward to the present, and it is clear that Meta's stock was in fact a great opportunity.

Chart: Patience Paid Off With Meta's Stock
View larger image

Meta shares have now more than doubled since I concluded that they were a complete steal.

Incredibly, after I recommended the stock, it actually declined by another 50% before starting its amazing recovery.

This is an important reminder that great investing requires a lot of patience.

Picking the bottom on a stock is impossible. Finding good value isn't.

How Does Meta's Valuation Look Now?

Last Friday, Meta shares rocketed more than 20% thanks to a fourth quarter 2023 earnings release that the market obviously loved.

In its release, the company announced a 25% increase in revenues combined with an 8% decrease in costs.

It also delighted investors by revealing that it would begin paying a dividend.

The 20% stock move added an astonishing $196 billion to the company's market capitalization.

That's an all-time single-day record not just for Meta... but for the entire market.

After a historic move like that, you might think Meta's stock is now massively overvalued.

But that's not necessarily the case, as you'll see in its valuation chart...

View the Chart and Get My Rating Here
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