Amid pandemic, Amazon, Apple, Facebook report mixed earnings
Big Tech companies reported mixed quarterly earnings on Thursday, a day after their top executives faced a tough congressional grilling over their market power and alleged monopolistic practices. The CEOs of Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Apple, appeared before the US Congress on Wednesday for a long-awaited antitrust hearing.
The staggering economic fallout caused by the coronavirus pandemic was reflected in reports released on Thursday from Amazon, Facebook, Apple, and Google's corporate parent, Alphabet.
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Apple delivered surprisingly strong numbers with both its revenue and profit rising, defying analysts' lowered expectations. The iPhone maker's revenue rose 11 percent to nearly $60 billion while profit rose 12 percent to $11.3 billion.
Alphabet, Google's holding company, reported its first-ever drop in quarterly revenue compared to the prior year. Although it was only a two percent decline, it was a telling sign of a downturn in the digital ad market while also serving as a reminder that the economy is struggling even more than it did more than a decade ago during the Great Recession Google's low point during that time came during the second quarter of 2009 when its revenue edged up by just three percent.
Alphabet's profit for its most recent quarter plunged 30 percent to nearly $7 billion.
Facebook, which also makes most of its money from digital ads, recorded an 11 percent increase in revenue from the prior year, the social networking company's slowest growth since going public eight years ago. The company's profit nearly doubled to roughly $6 billion from the same time last year. Part of the big jump stemmed from special charges last year.
Amazon was a pandemic winner, with people stuck at home relying on the company to shop online. It reported record quarterly profit, doubling to $5.2 billion from last year while its revenue soared 40 percent to $88.9 billion.
(Disclaimer: Additional background information has been added to this PTI copy for context)