Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google All Report Solid-to-Great Results

Daisuke Wakabayashi, Karen Weise, Jack Nicas, and Mike Isaac, reporting for The New York Times:

A day after lawmakers grilled the chief executives of the biggest tech companies about their size and power, Amazon, Apple, Alphabet and Facebook reported surprisingly healthy quarterly financial results, defying one of the worst economic downturns on record.

Even though the companies felt some sting from the spending slowdown, they demonstrated, as critics have argued, that they are operating on a different playing field from the rest of the economy.

Amazon’s sales were up 40 percent from a year ago and its profit doubled. Facebook’s profit jumped 98 percent. Even though the pandemic shuttered many of its stores, Apple increased sales of all its products in every part of the world and posted $11.25 billion in profit. Advertising revenue dropped for Alphabet, the laggard of the bunch, but it still did better than Wall Street had expected.

There was an undercurrent at yesterday’s hearing alleging that these companies, Amazon in particular, were profiteering during the COVID crisis. I don’t think that’s the case. Whatever one’s complaints about any or all of these four companies, they’ve thrived in 2020 because they’re among the few large institutions that have managed the crisis well.

Thursday, 30 July 2020