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Big Tech earnings: Amazon, Facebook, Apple, Alphabet, and Twitter all report results on the same day

The U.S. tech giants each had a similar story to tell about how COVID-19 is helping drive sales, build user growth, and attract eyeballs.

Big Tech earnings: Amazon, Facebook, Apple, Alphabet, and Twitter all report results on the same day
[Photo: Ales Nesetril/Unsplash]
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Five major U.S. tech companies released their third-quarter earnings reports after the closing bell on Thursday, each with a similar story to tell about how the coronavirus pandemic is driving sales and user growth to their respective products and services. Here’s a rundown of how each company performed:  

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Amazon

  • Total Revenue: $96.1 billion, up 37%
  • AWS revenue: $11.6 billion, up 29%
  • Earnings per share: $12.37
  • Bottom line: Amazon beat consensus estimates on earnings and revenue, but it estimated $4 billion in costs related to the coronavirus pandemic in the fourth quarter. Shares were down slightly in after-hours trading. Full earnings release

Facebook

  • Revenue: $21.47 billion, up 22%
  • Earnings per share: $2.71
  • Daily active users: 1.82 billion, up 12%
  • Bottom line: EPS and revenue both exceeded expectations, and an advertiser boycott earlier this year seemed to have minimal effect, but Facebook continues to face regulatory pressure and growing competition from rival social networks such as TikTok. Its daily active users in the United States and Canada fell from 198 million to 196 million. Full earnings release

Apple

  • Revenue: $64.7 billion
  • Earnings per share: 73 cents
  • Bottom line: In its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings release, Apple touted record revenue for its services and Mac product line, but it missed on one all-important metric. iPhone revenue was $26.44 billion, under consensus estimates and down about 20.7% from last year. Shares were down almost 4% in after-hours trading. Full earnings release

Alphabet

  • Revenue: $46.17 billion, up 14%
  • YouTube revenue: $5.04 billion
  • Earnings per share: $16.40
  • Bottom line: This was a significant beat for Google’s parent company, with ad revenue exceeding expectations across the board. Despite the specter of the U.S. government’s antitrust lawsuit lurking in the background, Alphabet shares were up almost 9% in after-hours trading. Full earnings release

Twitter

  • Revenue: $936 million, up 14%
  • Earnings per share: 19 cents
  • Daily active users (monetizable): 187 million
  • Bottom line: It’s a mixed bag for Twitter, which exceeded estimates on EPS but fell a bit short on user growth. Like Facebook, the company is heading into uncertain territory as it seeks to thread the tricky needle of content moderation during the upcoming presidential election. Twitter shares have more than doubled since the start of the pandemic in March, but they plummeted more than 15% in after-hours trading. Full earnings release

About the author

Christopher Zara is a senior staff news editor for Fast Company and obsessed with media, technology, business, culture, and theater. Before coming to FastCo News, he was a deputy editor at International Business Times, a theater critic for Newsweek, and managing editor of Show Business magazine

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