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Mark Zuckerberg’s wealth grows $28 billion after Meta’s stock soars

Mark Zuckerberg, the big boss and co-founder of Meta, has every reason to throw a party after the company’s stellar quarter. With Meta’s stock skyrocketing by 22%, Zuckerberg’s sitting on a sweet $28 billion paper gain. As of last Friday, he’s hit a personal record for wealth, with a net worth of $165 billion. That’s enough to outshine even Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft.

On top of all that, he’s set to pocket about $174 million in cash when Meta dishes out its inaugural dividend in March. Zuckerberg’s got his hands on roughly 350 million Class A and B shares, and both types qualify for the dividend payout. If Meta sticks to its plan of dishing out a 50 cent dividend each quarter, Zuckerberg stands to rake in over $690 million every year.

It’s quite the turnaround for Zuckerberg, whose fortune rises and falls with Meta’s stock performance. In 2021, his net worth hit its highest point, around $142 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, riding the wave of Nasdaq’s record highs.

However, when the market took a nosedive, Meta felt the pinch more than others. Investors and analysts didn’t hold back, slamming the company for splurging billions into its virtual reality division, Reality Labs. Zuckerberg’s response? He went all out with cost-cutting measures, calling it Meta’s “year of efficiency.”

Lots of other tech big shots did the same thing throughout 2022, 2023, and into 2024. But even so, in October and November 2022, when Meta shares hit rock bottom, you could snag them for about $90 each. At that time, Zuckerberg’s net worth was sitting at around $36 billion — just a quarter of what it used to be at its peak.

Meta knocked it out of the park with its fourth-quarter earnings, surpassing expectations both in terms of revenue and profit. It showed growth across the board in all the important numbers that Wall Street keeps an eye on, and its net income more than tripled compared to the same quarter last year. Now, the company’s valued at a whopping $1.2 trillion.