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Tech giants report more than $50 billion combined profits

Apple, Microsoft and Google's parent company Alphabet have seen a surge in revenue. The results are attributed to the coronavirus pandemic — but also the easing of lockdowns.

A phone with Google apps

Big Tech's profits underscored their unparalleled influence

Tech companies Apple, Microsoft and Google owner Alphabet reported on Tuesday combined profits of more than $50 billion (€59 billion) in the April-June quarter.

The results come amid an increase in consumer demand as the coronavirus pandemic continues to accelerate a trend toward working, shopping, socializing and more online.

The three companies currently have a combined market value of $6.4 trillion — more than double their value by market capitalization when the pandemic started 16 months ago. Tuesday's strong quarterly numbers only served to reinforce why government regulators in the US and further afield are increasingly eyeing their options to curb the companies' influence.

Infographic showing how Microsoft, Apple, Alphabet, Amazon and Facebook's stock prices soared since the beginning of the pandemic

Tech companies' share prices have soared during the pandemic

 

Apple: Best ever surge in revenue

Apple said its quarterly profit nearly doubled amid improving consumer spending and a "growing sense of optimism" as coronavirus restrictions eased.

The California-based tech giant saw a surge in revenue by 36% from a year ago with $81.4 billion, the best ever for the company's fiscal third quarter.

"This quarter saw a growing sense of optimism for consumers in the United States and around the world, driving renewed hope for a better future," Apple chief executive Tim Cook told a conference call.

"We're only in the early innings of 5G, but already its incredible performance and speed have made a significant impact on how people can get the most out of our technology," Cook said. "Customers love iPhone 12 for its superfast 5G speeds."

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Apple's profit rose to $21.7 billion, or $1.30 per share, on growth in iPhone sales and digital services.

Still, the spread of the coronavirus delta variant was casting doubt on how the rest of the year would unfold, Cook said. "The road to recovery will be a winding one."

Alphabet: profit soars as ads surge

Thanks to retail, entertainment and travel ads on its search engine Google and video platform YouTube, Alphabet's quarterly profit nearly tripled.

"There was a rising tide of online activity in many parts of the world, and we're proud that our services helped so many consumers and businesses," Alphabet chief executive Sundar Pichai said.

Pichai attributed the success to long-term investments in artificial intelligence and cloud computing.

During the quarter, Alphabet reported that profit nearly tripled from last year to $18.5 billion, or $27.26 per share. Total revenue surged 62% from last year to $61.88 billion.  

Microsoft: Work from home pays off

Microsoft reported quarterly profits of $16.5 billion, up 47% from the same period last year.

Microsoft's net income of $2.17 per share beat Wall Street expectations.

The company's profits have soared during the coronavirus pandemic amid high demand for its software and cloud computing services for remote work and study.

The software maker noted that supply issues affected its personal-computing division, which grew just 9% between April and June, including for its Surface and Windows products.

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fb/msh (AFP, AP) 

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