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Meta’s Profits More Than Double, While Spending on A.I. Rises

Meta on Wednesday reported a 27 percent increase in revenue and profit that more than doubled in the first quarter, as the company said it planned to spend billions of dollars more than expected on infrastructure to support its artificial intelligence efforts.

Revenue for the company, which owns Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger, was $36.5 billion in the first quarter, up from $28.6 billion a year ago and slightly above Wall Street estimates of $36.1 billion, according to data compiled by FactSet. Profit was $12.4 billion, up from $5.7 billion a year earlier.

“It’s been a good start to the year,” said Mark Zuckerberg, Meta’s chief executive, referring to the company’s A.I. efforts and “healthy growth across our apps.”

But Meta’s efforts on A.I., which require substantial computing power, come with a lofty price tag. The Silicon Valley company said it planned to raise its spending forecast for the year to $35 billion to $40 billion, up from a previous estimate of $30 billion to $37 billion. The move was driven by heavy investments in A.I. infrastructure, including data centers, chip designs and research and development costs.

Further, the company said it anticipated slightly lower than expected revenue in the second quarter compared to analysts’ expectations, spooking investors and sinking the stock price in after-hours trading.

Meta’s shares fell more than 11 percent on Wednesday afternoon after ending regular trading at $493.50.

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