Workshop week

Amazon, Facebook, Alphabet, Apple all beat expectations in face of coronavirus

Tyrone Stewart


Amazon, Facebook, Alphabet, and Apple have all released their latest quarterly earnings reports – all four managing to exceed Wall Street expectations by varying degrees, despite having to contend with the Covid-19 pandemic.

The quarterly reports of the foursome came just a day after they all appeared in front of US Congress over alleged anti-competitive behaviour and bias.

Amazon, as you’d expect, received a massive boost in the second quarter of 2020 thanks to the coronavirus. Its net sales leaped by 40 per cent year-on-year (YoY) to $88.9bn, compared with the $63.4bn reported in Q2 2019. Net profit for the company doubled to reach $5.2bn, from $2.6bn the year prior, which far exceeded analyst expectations.

“This was another highly unusual quarter, and I couldn’t be more proud of and grateful to our employees around the globe,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon Founder and CEO.

Over at Facebook, daily active users were up to 1.79bn on average, growing 12 per cent YoY, while monthly active users also grew 12 per cent to reach 2.7bn. Across its ‘family’ of apps, Facebook reported a 15 per cent increase to daily users and a 14 per cent increase to monthly users, reaching 2.47bn and 3.14bn respectively.

Overall revenue grew 11 per cent from $16.89bn in Q2 2019 to $18.69bn in Q2 2020. Thanks to this revenue, net income jumped 98 per cent YoY to $5.18bn, compared to $2.62bn in Q2 2019.

However, Facebook’s solid performance came before the advertiser boycott of its platform came into full effect, so will be interesting to see what impact that has on the company’s third quarter earnings.

“We're glad to be able to provide small businesses the tools they need to grow and be successful online during these challenging times,” said Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook Founder and CEO. “And we're proud that people can rely on our services to stay connected when they can't always be together in person.”

Google-parent Alphabet, despite also exceeding Wall Street expectations, suffered its first revenue decline since going public. The company saw revenue drop by two per cent, falling from $38.94bn in Q2 2019 to $38.3bn in Q2 2020. This drop was largely down to the eight per cent wiped off advertising income thanks to Covid-19’s impact on the industry.

Its earnings per share (EPS) came in way above expectations, beating forecasts of $8.21 to record earnings of $10.13 per share. However, this still meant a fall of 29 per cent from the $14.21 EPS of Q2 2019.

“We’re working to help people, businesses and communities in these uncertain times,” said Sundar Pichai, Chief Executive Officer of Google and Alphabet. “As people increasingly turn to online services, our platforms — from Cloud to Google Play to YouTube — are helping our partners provide important services and support their businesses.”

Finally, Apple, which was reporting its fiscal third quarter, posted revenue of $59.7bn – a YoY growth of 11 per cent from $53.8bn and way above analyst estimates of $52.3bn. This also represents a huge turn around for the company, after reporting revenue growth of just one per cent in its fiscal second quarter.

Quarterly EPS was also up to $2.58 – a jump of 18 per cent from $2.18 from the company’s Q3 last year. Analysts predicted EPS of $2.07.

“Apple’s record June quarter was driven by double-digit growth in both Products and Services and growth in each of our geographic segments,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “In uncertain times, this performance is a testament to the important role our products play in our customers’ lives and to Apple’s relentless innovation.”

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