The coronavirus crisis could cause widespread economic turmoil around the world, but the world’s largest technology firms are thriving.
Amazon sales rose 40% in the quarter ended June, while Apple saw an increase in purchases of its iPhones and other hardware.
On Facebook, the number of people on its platforms, which include WhatsApp and Instagram, jumped by 15%.
Achievements come as firms face scrutiny over their size and power.
At a hearing in Washington on Wednesday, lawmakers opened up to companies over whether they were abusing their dominance to calm rivals, noting the stark contrast between their fortunes and many other firms.
Their positions are likely to become even stronger, as the pandemic pushes more activity online, said Congressman David Cicilline, the Democrat who heads the committee.
“Before the coronavirus pandemic, these corporations already stood out as titans in our economy,” he said.
“However after COVID-19, they are likely to come out stronger and stronger than ever.”
The achievements came as no surprise to analysts – although just as good of the firm, it was.
On Amazon, a quarterly profit of $ 5.2bn (£ 4bn) was the largest since the company’s inception in 1994 and came despite heavy spending on protective equipment and other measures due to the virus.
“This is an exceptional quarter in every way in extreme circumstances,” Moody’s vice president Charlie O’Shea said of the rise in Amazon’s blockbuster.
What were the results?
The e-commerce firm’s sales rose 40% for the quarter ended June 30 to $ 88.9bn (£ 67.9bn) – its strongest growth year-on-year. Profits rose to $ 5.2bn from 2.6bn for the same period in 2019.
The flood of online shopping strained the brand’s capacity. Amazon hired about 175,000 people in the quarter and is working to expand its store space in anticipation of continued growth.
“We ran out of space,” chief financial officer Brian Olsavsky said on a call with analysts about the results.
Meanwhile, Apple said quarterly revenue jumped 11% year-over-year to $ 59.7bn.
The shift to distance and school work has helped drive demand for new devices, such as Macs and iPads, both of which have doubled. Profits reached $ 11.25bn, up from $ 10 billion in the same period a year ago.
Apple said the low-priced iPhone SE release in April had helped boost sales and put the electronics giant in a better position, despite the financial impacts of the coronavirus crisis.
“The last few months have highlighted the importance of users – and households alike – to have better quality equipment, connections and services,” said Paolo Pescatore, a technology analyst at PP Foresight. “Apple caught it.”
On Facebook, revenue rose 11% – slower than other quarters – but still exceeded analysts ’expectations, with advertising holding up better than expected. The firm’s profits reached nearly $ 5.2 billion for the quarter.
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Resilience was helped by a spike in users, which makes the firm attractive to advertisers, said Sophie Lund-Yates, Hargreaves Lansdown equity analyst.
The firm said 2.4 billion people were active on its social media platforms and messaging apps on average in June, up 15% from last year. That included nearly 1.79 billion daily active users on Facebook, up 12% year-over-year.
As locks slowed, Facebook said it was “seeing signs of normalization in user growth and engagement,” warning of those figures that could flatten or decline in the coming months.
Ms Lund-Yates said the firm also remains vulnerable to social and political pressure, which could just as quickly put users back on track.
“But this isn’t the first time Facebook has navigated on regulatory or social speed blows, and it has deep pockets to shed the problems it solves,” she said.
The Alphabet, which owns Google and YouTube, was the weakest of the four.
The search giant said revenue was $ 38.3 billion, down 2% from a year ago, as businesses fell back on advertising spending.
This was the first year-over-year decline in quarterly revenue for the search giant, since Google became a publicly listed company in 2004.
Profits fell about 30% year-over-year to about $ 7 billion. But even those falls failed to escape analysts, who expected damage.
“We expected April to be the bottom of the digital advertising market, returning to growth in May and June, and these results suggest that the acceleration was stronger than expected,” she said. eMarketer chief analyst Nicole Perrin.