(Bloomberg) – The largest U.S. technology companies thrive in a pandemic that has increased dependence on their products and services, while much of the rest of the economy is occurring. It is increasingly the result of Apple Inc., Amazon.com Inc., Facebook Inc and Alphabet Inc. Thursday shows that the industry is taking advantage of the crisis as blocked consumers use technology and Internet devices for entertainment, social connection, shopping, learning and work.
Altogether, the four companies recorded revenue of $ 206 billion and net revenue of $ 29 billion in the three months ending late June.
“Right now, it’s the world of high technology and everyone else is paying the rent,” Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives said. “They are now staples of consumption and this crisis has bought its growth into about two years.”
The results of the four companies clashed a day after their leaders faced congressional hearings to find out if they had breached antitrust rules and had to be scolded. On Friday, most increased their shares. Apple and Facebook boosted their records with the iPhone market valuation, briefly beating Saudi Arabian Oil Co., which Amazon earned up to 6.4%. Only Google recorded the trend, with 4.3%.
Apple executives quickly realized how they contrasted their results with an economic collapse that resulted in millions of job losses, hundreds of thousands of deaths and many bankruptcies.
Earlier on Thursday, U.S. government officials reported that gross domestic product hired the most registered — 32.9 percent annually — and 17 million Americans claimed state unemployment benefits in mid-July.
“We are aware that these results remain in intense relief during a time of real economic adversity for businesses, large and small, and certainly for families,” CEO Tim Cook said at no conference. . “We don’t have a zero-sum approach to prosperity, and especially at times like this, we’re focused on growing the pie, making sure our success isn’t just our success.”
Cook turned to his usual litany of praise for his company’s quarterly performance and instead devoted much of his script time to the call to discuss things like a contact trace collaboration with Google, the deployment of masks and the design of a face shield for. medical workers.
The numbers paint a clear picture. IPad and Mac sales increased the demand for people who work and study from home. The Mac had its second strongest quarter, while the iPad had its best June quarter in eight years, Cook noted in an interview with Bloomberg TV.
Amazon posted a record quarterly profit when people who avoid physical stores shop online. Unit sales from the largest online retailer rose 57%, the fastest growth rate since the company began surpassing that metric.
“E-commerce penetration is accelerating,” said Hari Srinivasan, chief analyst at Neuberger Berman. Amazon is the first beneficiary of the change and “the changes are here to continue,” he added.
Amazon executives, in publishing results and in conference calls with analysts and media, did not go out of their way to offer record sales and profits for the company. Instead, they highlighted the hiring of the company during the pandemic, as well as investments in employee safety.
A day after testifying in Congress about Amazon’s sometimes harsh treatment of small retailers, CEO Jeff Bezos noted in a statement that these vendors saw faster growth than Amazon’s own retail operation. The published book fared better than expected in part because so many small and medium-sized businesses are moving online right now to survive, said Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer.
“There are a lot of companies struggling, but at the same time companies have to pivot online,” he added. “We become a place where you can set up a website, set up a digital showcase.”
The company reported that it has more than 9 million ads and more than 180 million small businesses that use the free parts of its service, such as a Facebook or Instagram profile.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg addressed Wednesday’s antitrust session, referring to the technology industry as an “American success story.” But he also targeted President Donald Trump for the second time this month.
“It’s incredibly disappointing because it looks like the United States could have avoided this current struggle in cases if our government had managed better,” Zuckerberg said.
Alphabet’s Google was the only major tech company to report a notable pandemic impact on Thursday. Revenue fell for the first time as advertisers spent less. The company is heavily exposed to the travel and retail industries, which have been particularly hard hit by the crisis.
Still, other parts of Google’s business worked well. Sales in Google’s cloud business rose 43%, while YouTube’s advertising revenue rose 6%, while more people watched videos online at home.
CEO Sundar Pichai was concerned about regulatory crackdown on Google, which is facing an imminent antitrust case from the justice department.
“Obviously we’ve been working under scrutiny for a while,” he said. “We realize that on our scale it’s appropriate.”
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