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Facebook parent Meta makes first-ever bond offering

By Nivedita Balu and Shankar Ramakrishnan (Reuters) -Facebook-parent Meta Platforms said on Thursday it would make its first-ever bond offering, at a time when the social media...
Facebook parent Meta makes first-ever bond offering © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The logo of Meta Platforms is seen in Davos, Switzerland, May 22, 2022. Picture taken May 22, 2022. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann//File Photo

By Nivedita Balu and Shankar Ramakrishnan

(Reuters) -Facebook-parent Meta Platforms said on Thursday it would make its first-ever bond offering, at a time when the social media company is making massive investments to fund its virtual reality projects.

Meta did not disclose the size of the offering but said it would use the proceeds for capital expenditures, share repurchases, acquisitions or investments.

The company received an 'A1' rating from Moody's (NYSE:MCO) and an 'AA- rating' and a 'stable' outlook from S&P. Meta is selling four tranches of bonds with maturities ranging from five years to 40 years.

Among big technology companies, Meta is the only one that does not have any debt on its books. Tapping the market now would give it more financial room as it tries to fund some expensive overhauls, including a bet on augmented and virtual reality technology, investors who heard its presentation for the bond offering on Tuesday said.

It might also be a rare opportunity to do so relatively cheaply in the current market environment. Corporate bonds have rebounded in the past month after a rout earlier this year, as investors hoped the U.S. Federal Reserve's fight against inflation through rapid rate increases was starting to have some impact.

This week the U.S. investment grade primary bond markets have rebounded, with companies raising more than $38 billion, making it the eighth busiest week of the year, according to Informa Global Markets data.

Other tech giants such as Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Intel Corp (NASDAQ:INTC) also issued bonds earlier this week, raising $5.5 billion and $6 billion, respectively.

Bankers and investors said such issuance windows may be rare in coming months. One banker in charge of a bond syndicate desk at a U.S. bank said credit spreads could widen later this year, increasing funding costs.

Meta's bond issuance will come after the company issued a gloomy forecast and recorded its first-ever quarterly drop in revenue, with recession fears and competitive pressures weighing on its digital ads sales.

Its free-cash flow has been depleting as it charges ahead with its metaverse plans, which led the change in its name to Meta Platforms from Facebook (NASDAQ:META) last year.

In the second quarter ended June 30, Meta had $4.45 billion in free cash flow, compared with $8.51 billion a year ago and $8.53 billion in the prior quarter.

Chief Financial Officer Dave Wehner said on a post-earnings conference call that company had a "substantial amount" in its buyback program and expects to continue with buybacks as part of its capital allocation strategy.

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20-08-2022 09:24:41 (UTC+7)

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 EUR/USD1.0037↑ Sell
 GBP/USD1.1831↑ Buy
 USD/JPY136.93↑ Buy
 AUD/USD0.6873↑ Sell
 USD/CAD1.2993↑ Sell
 EUR/JPY137.43Neutral
 EUR/CHF0.9628↑ Buy
 Gold1,760.30↑ Buy
 Silver18.965Sell
 Copper3.6697Neutral
 Crude Oil WTI89.97Buy
 Brent Oil96.09Sell
 Natural Gas9.280↑ Sell
 US Coffee C216.20↑ Sell
 Euro Stoxx 503,730.32↑ Buy
 S&P 5004,228.48↑ Sell
 DAX13,544.52Neutral
 FTSE 1007,550.37↑ Buy
 Hang Seng19,773.03Neutral
 Small Cap 20001,957.35↑ Buy
 IBEX 358,338.10↑ Buy
 BASF43.035↑ Buy
 Bayer54.40Sell
 Allianz176.02↑ Sell
 Adidas165.60↑ Sell
 Lufthansa6.275Buy
 Siemens AG108.20↑ Sell
 Deutsche Bank AG8.496Neutral
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