The coronovirus crisis may cause widespread economic turmoil worldwide, but the world’s largest technology firms are flourishing.
Amazon sales increased 40% in the three months to the end of June, while Apple saw an increase in purchases of its iPhones and other hardware.
On Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram increased the number of people on its platform by 15%.
Companies get the benefit of investigation based on their size and power.
At a hearing in Washington on Wednesday, lawmakers told the companies about whether they were abusing their dominance to eliminate rivals, not a sharp contrast between their fortunes and many other firms.
Their position is likely to be even stronger, as the epidemic advances even more activity online, said Congressman David Cicillin, the Democrat who heads the committee.
“Before the coronovirus epidemic, these corporations already stood out as titans in our economy,” he said.
“In view of COVID-19, however, they are likely to emerge stronger and powerful than ever before.”
This was not surprising to analysts – though how well many firms did.
Amazon’s quarterly profit of $ 5.2bn (£ 4bn) was the largest since the company’s debut in 1994 and came despite heavy spending on protective gear and other measures due to the virus.
“This is an extraordinary quarter on all fronts under extreme circumstances,” Moody’s vice president Charlie O’Shea said of Amazon’s blockbuster growth.
What were the results?
The e-commerce firm’s sales rose 40% to 88.9bn (£ 67.9bn) for the three months ending 30 June – its strongest year-on-year growth in years. Profit for the same period increased from 2.6 billion in 2019 to $ 5.2bn.
The flood of online shopping has stunted the firm’s capacity. Amazon hired about 175,000 people in the quarter and is working to expand its warehouse space in anticipation of continued growth.
“We’ve gone out of space,” Chief Financial Officer Brian Olsavsky said on a call with analysts about the results.
Meanwhile, Apple said quarterly revenue grew 11% year-over-year to $ 59.7bn.
The shift to remote work and school helped drive demand for new devices such as the Mac and iPad, both of which saw double-digit increases. Profit was $ 11.25 billion in the same period a year ago, up from $ 10bn.
Apple said the low-cost iPhone SE release in April helped boost sales and position the electronics giant better despite the financial effects of the Coronavirus crisis.
“The past few months have underscored the importance of users – and households alike – to better quality devices, connections and services,” said Paol Pesascort, PP Foresight’s technical analyst. “Apple broke it.”
On Facebook, revenue grew 11% – slower than in other quarters – but was still ahead of analysts’ expectations, as the ad was conducted better than expected. The company’s profit in the quarter stood at $ 5.2 billion.
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Users were helped by a spike in flexibility that makes the firm attractive to advertisers, said Sophie Lund-Yates, an equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdowne.
The firm said an average of 2.4 billion people were active on social media platforms and messaging apps in June, a 15% increase from the previous year. This included about 1.79 billion daily active users on Facebook, up 12% year-on-year.
As the lockdown eased, Facebook said it was “seeing signs of normalization in user growth and engagement”, warning those figures that it could fall flat or decline in the coming months.
Ms Lund-Yates said the firm is also sensitive to social and political pressures, which can quickly push users back again.
“But this is not the first time that Facebook has a navigated regulatory or social speed bump, and has a deep pocket for fixing problems,” he said.
Alphabet, which owns Google and YouTube, was the weakest of the four.
The search giant said revenue was $ 38.3bn, down 2% from a year earlier, as businesses cut back on advertising spending.
Since becoming Google’s publicly listed company in 2004, it was a year-over-year decline in quarterly revenue for the search giant.
Profits declined by about 30% year-on-year to $ 7bn. But even those gangs failed to dissuade analysts who expected losses.
Nicole Perrin, principal analyst at eMarket, said, “We expect the digital advertising market to hit a low in April, which may rebound with growth in May and June, and these results suggest that the acceleration is higher than expected Was stronger. “