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Home / Business / High-tech earnings increase during a pandemic as the economy declines

High-tech earnings increase during a pandemic as the economy declines



(Bloomberg) – The largest technology companies in the United States are thriving in a pandemic, increasing their dependence on their products and services, while hurting much of the rest of the economy. Quarterly results show Apple Inc., Amazon.com Inc., Facebook Inc. and Alphabet Inc. on Thursday show the industry is taking advantage of the crisis as locked-in users use hardware apps and the Internet for entertainment, social networking, shopping, learning and work.

In total, the four companies reported revenue of $ 206 billion and net income of $ 29 billion in the three months ended June.

“Right now it’s a big world of technology and everyone else is paying rent,” said Dan Ives, an analyst at Wedbush Securities. “They are now consumer staples, and the crisis has boosted their growth by about two years.”

The results of the four companies came out one day after their executives attended congressional meetings to see if they violated antitrust rules and whether they should be taken into account. Most of their shares rose on Friday. Apple and Facebook set records when the iPhone maker’s market rating was slightly above Saudi Arabian Oil Co. Amazon rose as much as 6.4%. Only Google has followed this trend and has moved 4.3 percent.

Apple executives quickly realized how strong their performance was in opposition to the economic collapse, which had resulted in the loss of millions of jobs, hundreds of thousands of deaths and many bankruptcies.

Earlier on Thursday, U.S. government officials reported the biggest drop in gross domestic product (32.9 percent a year), with 17 million Americans claiming state unemployment benefits in mid-July.

“We understand that these results alleviate the real economic hardship for large and small businesses and, of course, families,” CEO Tim Cook told the conference. “We don’t have a zero-sum approach to well-being. Especially in these times, we focus on growing cakes, making sure that our success is not just our success. ”

Cook gave up the usual commendable litany for his company’s quarterly results and instead devoted much of his script time to the call to discuss things like the contact search partnership with Google, the installation of masks, and the design of the face shield. medical staff.

The numbers show a clear picture. Sales of the iPad and Mac have risen due to demand from people working and studying from home. The Mac was the second-strongest quarter ever, and the iPad was the best eight-year quarter in June, Cook said in an interview with Bloomberg TV.

Amazon posted record quarterly earnings as people avoid online stores. Unit sales in the largest online retail chain increased 57 percent. – This is the fastest growth rate since the company started publishing that metric.

“The penetration of e-commerce is accelerating,” said Hari Srinivasan, senior analyst at Neuberger Berman. He added that Amazon is the main recipient of the shift and that “change will remain.”

Amazon executives did not leave their views on the company’s record sales and profits by providing earnings information and attending conferences with analysts and the media. They emphasized hiring the company during the pandemic and investing in worker safety.

One day after testifying to Congress that Amazon sometimes treats small retailers harshly, CEO Jeff Bezos said in a statement that the growth of such retailers was faster than Amazon’s own retail operations. Facebook reported better-than-expected results in part because so many small and medium-sized businesses are now connecting to the Internet to survive, said Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer.

“A lot of companies are struggling, but at the same time, companies have to move online,” she added. “We are becoming a place where you can set up a website, set up a digital store.”

The company said it has more than 9 million advertisers and more than 180 million small businesses that use free parts of its service, such as Facebook or Instagram profile.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg resigned at an antitrust hearing on Wednesday, citing the technology industry as “America’s success story.” But for the second time this month, he also targeted President Donald Trump.

“It’s extremely disappointing, because it looks like the United States would have been able to avoid this current wave if our government had done better,” Zuckerberg said.

Alphabetically, Google was the only major technology company to report a noticeable impact of the pandemic on Thursday. Revenue fell for the first time as advertisers spent less. The company is being hit hard by the travel and retail industry, which has been hit particularly hard by the crisis.

However, other parts of Google’s business have fared well. Sales of Google’s cloud business jumped 43%, while revenue from YouTube ads rose 6% as more people watched online videos at home.

CEO Sundar Pichai has dismissed concerns about Google’s regulatory deal with this justice department.

“Obviously, we’ve been watching closely for a while,” he said. “We understand it’s appropriate on our scale.”

(Updates with fifth paragraph shares)

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