Shareholders in Alphabet are sending the company a message: It’s time for some drastic action. After a sharp slump in the past few weeks, Alphabet stock is up just 1.9% so far this year compared to the Nasdaq’s 10% rise. In contrast Facebook parent Meta Platforms, which was in the doghouse last year, has jumped 41% year to date. Alphabet and Meta are now trading at nearly the same forward sales multiple, the reversal of the past 12 months when Alphabet was at a premium, according to Koyfin data.
Sure, the convergence of the two stocks’ valuations is as much about what Meta has done right as what Alphabet hasn’t. Both companies were criticized publicly last year by investors for being overstaffed. While both have since announced layoffs, Meta’s “year of efficiency” program, unveiled with the most recent earnings update on Feb. 1, suggests CEO Mark Zuckerberg plans more cuts. It also may be that tech investors simply decided Meta shares were too cheap relative to Alphabet. While Meta’s business underperformed Alphabet’s last year, investors are now focused on the future. Analysts expect the two companies to average nearly the same topline growth over the next three years, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.