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Tech Earnings Roundup: All The Winners (And One Loser) From Q4 2017

Missed all the boring earnings news this week? Here’s a quick run-through of who’s up, who’s down, and who’s … somewhere in the middle.

Tech Earnings Roundup: All The Winners (And One Loser) From Q4 2017
[Photos: volkan.basar/iStock; AdrianHancu/iStock]

As earnings season comes to an end, the stock market continued its descent this week. Where does that leave Silicon Valley’s tech giants? It’s true that some of them have lost market value, but don’t pass the hat around for them yet: Most of these companies are coming off a solid quarter.

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Here’s how the tech bigwigs–Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Netflix, Snap, and Twitter–fared in their earnings reports:

The Winners

It’s rare that Amazon doesn’t have a good quarter, but its stock has been unusually buoyant in recent months, exceeding a share price of $1,400. In last week’s earnings report, Amazon reported revenue of more than $60 billion and teased its ad ambitions, but that’s certainly not the only thing driving shareholder optimism right now.

“2017 was a strong year for Facebook, but it was also a hard one,” Mark Zuckerberg wrote in the company’s earnings release. That’s quite the understatement, but he’s right–Facebook is doing fine. In fact, while Facebook reported that users are spending 50 million fewer hours on the platform each day, its user base is still growing and revenue hit nearly $13 billion, up 48% year over year.

Netflix exceeded expectations this quarter, in no small part because we all binged The Crown and Stranger Things. Even after its recent price hike, Netflix attracted 8.3 million new subscribers in Q4, bringing its total subscriber base to 117 million.

Snap hasn’t had the smoothest ride since its IPO last March, so this earnings report was a particularly bright spot. At $285.7 million, its revenue was well over expectations, and its lagging daily user numbers jumped by 8.9 million to 187 million. Let’s hope that holds up as Snapchat rolls out its redesign.

Riding a wave of recent “comeback” stories, even Twitter eked out a win this quarter, posting a profit ($91 million) for the first time in its history. Twitter’s stock price hasn’t been this high since 2015. The embattled company still hasn’t moved the needle on its monthly active users, but after Twitter’s string of losses, we consider this a triumph.

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The Mixed Bag

This was actually Apple’s biggest quarter: Its revenue crossed $88 billion, up 13% from the previous holiday quarter. But when you’re Apple, that’s not as meaningful. The company failed to meet analyst expectations, and iPhone sales–a key metric–were down. What Apple’s earnings report did prove, however, is that people are willing to shell out for the iPhone X.

The Loser

Alphabet hit the mark in terms of revenue, largely due to Google’s ad business, but analysts took issue with its rising costs and losses. Alphabet had to pay an antitrust fine of $2.7 billion to the European Commission, along with a hefty $9.9 billion charge because of the new tax code. In the past year, YouTube has also had to contend with advertisers pulling their business in protest of inappropriate content on the video sharing site. And just this morning, YouTube suspended ads on Logan Paul’s channels. (You may recall the YouTube star came under fire recently for filming the body of a suicide victim and posting the video to YouTube.)

From where we’re standing, it seems like these problems aren’t going away anytime soon.

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About the author

Pavithra Mohan is an assistant editor for Fast Company Digital. Her writing has previously been featured in Gizmodo and Popular Science magazine.

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