The Covid-19 pandemic may have been detrimental to the global economy, but it has done no harm to the earning power of the world's biggest technology companies.
As many people stayed indoors to stem the spread of the virus and relied more on technology for work and entertainment, leading tech companies posted a significant increase in their revenues in the first quarter of this year, even as supply chain disruptions led to a global shortage of semiconductors.
The National looks at how much revenue the FAANG group [Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google's parent company Alphabet] of technology heavyweights, Microsoft and electric vehicle maker Tesla made per minute in the first three months to March 31.
As Covid-19 boosted online shopping globally, e-commerce giant earned more than $837,100 revenue per minute in the first quarter as its net profit for the period more than tripled to $8.1 billion. The pandemic has significantly fuelled the online shopping and digital payments trend as users avoided using cash.
“Amazon delivered strong first quarter results driven by upside in core retail … as well as accelerating growth in higher margin segments including AWS and advertising," Aaron Kessler, senior research analyst at Raymond James, wrote in a client note.
The Cupertino company saw the record sales in March quarter in its history earning over $691,234 per minute as net profit more than doubled to $23.6bn. Robust sales of the company's 5G-enabled iPhone 12 series underpinned a 54 per cent year-on-year increase in revenue. The company also achieved double-digit growth in sales of its iPads and Macs.
Loup Ventures analysts Gene Munster and David Stokman predicted the company's revenues will more than treble to $333bn by 2025, from $89.6bn in the last quarter.
Alphabet earned $426,805 per minute on the back of strong growth in its Google Services business. Its revenue increased 34 per cent on an annual basis to $55.3bn, beating analysts' average estimate of $51.7bn.
The last quarter marked the Redmond-headquartered company's 15th straight period of double-digit revenue growth. It earned $321,759 per minute on strong cloud, gaming and personal computing business growth as well as a net income-tax benefit of $620 million.
Social networking company Facebook netted more than $201,936 per minute in the three months to March 31. The company attributed this to a double-digit year-on-year rise in the average price per ad and in the number of ads delivered in the first quarter.
One of the areas which was “somewhat lacklustre was the daily active users”, which came in at 1.88 billion, below a forecast of 1.89 billion, said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at broker Avatrade.
“Monthly active users also fell short of expectations,” he said.
The world's biggest EV maker, Tesla, delivered a record 184,800 cars in the first quarter despite a global shortage of chips, earning the company more than $79,475 per minute in the first quarter. Its revenue during the three months to March 31 increased 74 per cent to $10.3bn, exceeding analysts' expectations of $10.2bn.
"The rapid expansion of EV markets will play to Tesla's advantage, not just in China but also in Europe and the US, where governments are setting ambitious targets to phase out fossil fuel vehicles … and are prepared to back those targets with generous subsidies," Ana Nicholls, industry briefing managing editor at the Economist Intelligence Unit, told The National.
Despite subscriber growth falling to an eight-year low due to coronavirus-induced production delays, Netflix posted annual revenue growth of more than 24 per cent to $7.1bn in the first quarter. The world's largest streaming company made $54,783 per minute during the period.
Revenue earned per minute in first quarter of 2021
- Amazon: $837,100
- Apple: $691,234
- Alphabet: $426,805
- Microsoft: $321,759
- Facebook: $201,936
- Tesla: $79,475
- Netflix: $54,783