More and more market power: Billions in growth at Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple

The tech giants’ latest quarterly reports show that they are growing extremely even during the corona pandemic. Amazon’s sales rose by 37 percent to over 96 billion US dollars.

The power of the tech companies Google (or Alphabet), Amazon, Facebook and Apple is often criticized. In the USA, for example, Google’s market power is currently being seriously questioned in the course of an antitrust lawsuit by the US judicial authorities. But while the balance of power in the digital space is being viewed critically, the mega-companies continue to grow – especially in the corona pandemic. The current quarterly figures for the four companies are surprisingly good. Sales have increased by several billion US dollars, Facebook is increasing its number of users to 2.74 billion, Amazon is delivering hundreds of thousands of new jobs and the cloud business is booming.

Positive quarterly figures for Alphabet and Google: More advertising spending on YouTube and Search

Google’s parent company, Alphabet, has announced a strong third quarter. Revenue grew nearly $ 6 billion year over year and is now $ 46.2 billion. That is significantly more than the analysts expected. The operating profit of over eleven billion US dollars is also impressive.

Total revenues of $ 46.2 billion in the third quarter reflect broad based growth led by an increase in advertiser spend in Search and YouTube as well as continued strength in Google Cloud and Play. We remain focused on making the right investments to support long term sustainable value,

explained Ruth Porat, Chief Financial Officer at Alphabet and Google. While Google brought in around 37 billion US dollars in advertising, revenues from YouTube Ads grew from 3.8 to over five billion US dollars, and revenues from Google Cloud from 2.38 to 3.44 billion US dollars.

Amazon makes nearly $ 100 billion in profit in the quarter

It is no secret that e-commerce is booming as part of the coronavirus pandemic. Even very optimistic analysts could hardly have suspected how much the industry giant Amazon would actually benefit from this. The company reports a 37 percent increase in sales YoY. The total is 96.1 billion US dollars. Operating income nearly doubled, from $ 3.2 billion in Q3 2019 to $ 6.2 billion this year. It’s also worth $ 12.37 per share in earnings. Analysts had expected 7.4 US dollars – and “only” 93 billion US dollars in sales.

Similar to many other tech giants such as Microsoft, Amazon has also made significantly more money with its cloud division: In Q3 2020 it was 11.6 billion US dollars, compared to almost nine billion US dollars in the same period last year. The company spent a lot of money on its employees. CEO Jeff Bezos stressed that he was proud

to have created over 400,000 jobs this year alone. We’re seeing more customers than ever shopping early for their holiday gifts, which is just one of the signs that this is going to be an unprecedented holiday season.

And all of those numbers come before Black Friday, Cyber ​​Monday, and Christmas. In the fourth quarter of 2020, Amazon should increase its immense profit again, as Bezos already suggests. Then the number of employees who have at least received a minimum of US $ 15 an hour for two years will continue to rise.

Facebook: Profit and sales are climbing, the number of users is also increasing

The largest social network in the world now officially has 2.74 billion active users per month. That means a twelve percent growth YoY. The growth in daily active users is just as great. The number of these is now 1.82 billion. Even financially, Facebook shows immense growth, despite emerging competition, for example from TikToks in the social media market. Sales grew 22 percent to a whopping $ 21.47 billion.

We had a strong quarter as people and businesses continue to rely on our services to stay connected and create economic opportunity during these tough times. We continue to make significant investments in our products and hiring in order to deliver new and meaningful experiences for our community around the world,

said Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Profit also increased, from $ 6.1 billion to $ 7.85 billion in the quarter. The earnings per share are at 2.71 US dollars, significantly lower than at Amazon, but also well above the analysts’ expectations. The large number of users belies the fact that the number of users in the USA and Canada has decreased.

Facebook also expects a slight decline here for the coming quarter. The company expects strong results for the fourth quarter. But the quarterly report warns of headwinds in the advertising market, through regulatory measures and platform changes such as Apple, which will make tracking of users more difficult with iOS 14 from next year. In the course of this, Facebook had already feared a drop in sales. How strong these would be with such an immense turnover and growth cannot yet be foreseen. Alongside Google, which generated 37 billion US dollars in sales in Q3 with its Google Advertising, Facebook is the undisputed number two in the advertising market with 21.2 billion US dollars in advertising sales.

Apple’s increase in sales through Macs and iPads encouraged

The industry giant Apple was also able to record sales growth and presented sales of 64.7 billion US dollars for the fourth quarter of its own fiscal year. According to The Shareholder, it exceeded Wall Street’s expectations. Nevertheless, the company has lost value on the stock exchange; possibly also because no forecast for the coming quarter was presented.

In the past quarter, the slight year-on-year increase in sales was mainly supported by an increase in sales of Macs and iPads. This could be a result of the corona pandemic and more home office use. Mac sales rose from 6.99 to around nine billion US dollars. However, sales of iPhones fell significantly, from $ 33.3 billion to $ 26.4 billion. Because of the corona pandemic, Apple had to close plants for a while and suffer losses here. In return, Apple Services have experienced significant growth and now account for 14.55 billion US dollars in sales.

Apple capped off a fiscal year defined by innovation in the face of adversity with a September quarter record, led by all-time records for Mac and Services,

says Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO.

Despite the undreamt-of dimensions of the corona pandemic, Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple grew significantly. Sometimes because of the pandemic, which is only increasing digitization and the use of cloud services, social media, search engines or e-commerce platforms. An end to the power of GAFA is therefore hardly in sight; and probably only conceivable through political regulation.

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