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'AI glory days': Meta rallies 8% on upbeat guidance, strong Q2; analysts bump numbers -- Meta Platforms rose more than 7.5% in pre-market Thursday after the social media giant's second quarter results topped Wall Street expectations, driven by a jump in advertising revenue.

Facebook (NASDAQ:META) reported adjusted EPS of $2.98 on revenue of $32 billion. Analysts polled by anticipated EPS of $2.91 on revenue of $31.08B.

The better-than-expected results come as the company continued to make progress on its ‘year of efficiency’ pledge in 2022 and advertising revenue grew. Meta increased its total expenses forecast "due to legal-related" costs while cutting its CapEx forecast. The company committed to keep hiring in key areas.

Advertising revenue rose 12% to $31.50B year-on-year in Q2 from the prior year earlier.

Facebook daily active users, or DAUs, rose 5% to 2.06B, while monthly active people, or MAUs, rose 3% to 3.03B.

Looking ahead, the company said it expects third quarter revenue to be in the range of $32B to 34.5B, beating estimates for $31.2B.

Morgan Stanley analysts hiked the price target by $25 to $375 per share.

"META's AI investments continue to drive higher engagement, advertiser return, platform monetization and EPS. And the product pipeline is flush with a September AI event catalyst," they wrote in a note.

UBS analysts added that they see many reasons to stay Buy-rated on META stock. The price target on shares is hiked by $65 to $400 per share.

"We see the Sept Meta Connect as a likely positive catalyst with new GenAI product announcements helping validate our optimism around new consumer product here as the next leg to the bull case."

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