Big Tech Releases Earnings Reports With Major Revenues, Yet Investors Are Underwhelmed

By Thomas Price Friday, October 30, 2020

As Q3 reports continue to pour in with October coming to a close, the major technology companies have finally checked in as well. Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, and Google have all fared rather well in 2020, posting reliably strong numbers nearly across the board. Especially with none of them relying nearly at all on person sales to generate revenue, large scale closures have not hindered much of their growth, and in Amazon’s case, it may even help. So, how exactly has each of these companies done in the most recent quarter, and was it well enough to help lift the slagging stock market out of its slump?


Facebook’s recent success is not surprising considering how large the platform is and the number of eyes on any given advertisement. In fact, in Q3, Facebook reported an incredible $21.47 billion in revenue, with the overwhelming majority of it coming from advertising. Despite being under better economic circumstances, the third quarter in 2019 was notably smaller for Facebook as they only brought in $17.66 billion, showing just how strong the company’s revenue growth has been. Ad revenue in the quarter was up 22% in comparison to the same quarter last year. In terms of profit, Facebook reeled in $7.85 billion, up over $1 billion from 2019’s mark. Despite these incredibly impressive numbers, many investors were still left disappointed, or at least slightly reserved about Facebook due to the user numbers. The major point of concern was that the daily number of active users in the United States and Canada saw a 2 million person dip from 198 million daily active users to 196 million.


Even after having to push back the release of the new iPhone back due to the interference of COVID-19, Apple posted excellent numbers. The company saw its revenues reach $64.7 billion — a new record for them. However, this only translates into a 1% growth from the previous year for the company. These numbers are backed up by record sales for Mac computers, which generated the company $9 billion, partially due to the demand for in-home technology to compensate for remote working and learning taking place right now. iPad sales saw growth, as well. In fact, Apple met or beat expectations for nearly every single major point of interest for investors, except for iPhone sales. Because the newest iPhone was pushed back due to COVID-19, Apple could not include any sales figures for the company in this quarter leading to disappointment from investors as sales fell almost $1 billion below expectations.


Amazon had a lucrative quarter that shot up nearly every point of importance for the company. The retail giant saw their sales rise to a record $96.2 billion as people increasingly turned to online shopping due to the pandemic, which resulted in closures of nearly all in-person retail locations and physical storefronts. That record mark of sales translates to a jump of about 37%. Profits for the company also absolutely skyrocketed to $6.3 billion, almost triple the amount during the same quarter in 2019, which saw $2.1 billion in profits. Apparently, that record will be broken in short order, with Amazon predicting anywhere between $112 billion and $121 billion in sales during the final quarter of 2020. Despite this rise in numbers, along with Apple and Facebook, shares have all dropped with the market dipping over concerns of more lockdowns and dwindling hope for a second stimulus package.


The only major tech company to come away with numbers sufficient enough to get investors excited was Google. Alphabet, Google’s parent company, saw major earnings; the company generated $46.17 billion in revenue, beating out expectations by nearly $4 billion. This can be largely attributed to the rebound of ad revenue for Alphabet, with totals reaching $37.10 billion. The big boost for them came from a relatively surprising 32% growth in ad revenue from Youtube, who single-handedly was responsible for $5.04 billion. For investors, Alphabets earnings per share came in at $16.40, when expectations from analysts had that number closer to $11.29. Alphabet currently stands as the only stock among the tech companies that is in the green today: up around 4%.

About the Author

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Tom Price is a writer focusing on Entertainment and Sports Features. He has a degree from NYU in English with a minor in Creative Writing. He has been previously published for Washington Square News, Dignitas, CBR, and Numbers on the Boards.

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