ENTERTAINMENT

Facebook and Apple both recorded 11% growth during the pandemic


Facebook and Apple both saw quarterly sales growth of 11 percent, which exceeded analysts' expectations and shook off the pandemic to succeed.

On Thursday, both technology giants reported results for the recently completed quarter. Facebook said it had a $ 5.2 billion profit on sales of $ 18.7 billion as the platform's number of users rose to 2.7 billion a month.

This happened despite a punitive advertising boycott, with giant brands like Unilever and Honda running Facebook ads for the rest of the year to urge the social network to take action against what activists call hate speech and political misinformation.

"This was a strong quarter for us, especially compared to what we initially expected," said Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook.

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, will testify before a House Committee hearing on Thursday via video link. The company reported solid earnings later in the day

The shares of the social media giant based in Silicon Valley rose by six percent after the earnings figures were published in after-hours trading.

According to Zuckerberg, the number of users of the entire "family" of apps, including WhatsApp and Messenger, has exceeded three billion every month.

Zuckerberg said he could not predict when Facebook employees would return their offices given the rise in coronavirus cases.

"It is incredibly disappointing because it appears the US could have avoided this current surge in cases if our government had handled it better," said Zuckerberg.

Facebook expected half of its employees to work long-term from home in the next five to ten years.

In the meantime, Apple also delivered quarterly blowout results and reported sales growth in every category and region as consumers who worked and learned from home during the COVID-19 pandemic turned to their products and services.

The report exceeded Wall Street expectations, and even long-shaded categories like iPads and Macs got a boost. According to the result, shares in expanded trading rose by up to 6 percent.

An annual chart of Facebook's share price shows the company's rapid recovery during the pandemic

An annual chart of Facebook's share price shows the company's rapid recovery during the pandemic

Apple stock has reached an all-time high, as this chart has shown since the beginning of the year

Apple stock has reached an all-time high, as this chart has shown since the beginning of the year

Apple chief Tim Cook can be seen at the hearing on Thursday. Apple also delivered quarterly blowout results and reported sales growth in every category and region

Apple chief Tim Cook can be seen at the hearing on Thursday. Apple also delivered quarterly blowout results and reported sales growth in every category and region

The third-quarter results, in which iPhone sales were approximately $ 4 billion above analysts' expectations, came the worst on the same day that gross domestic product collapsed at an annual rate of 32.9 percent in the last quarter Economic performance in the country since the Great Depression.

Luca Maestri, Apple's chief financial officer, also confirmed the rumble in the supply chain that the new iPhone product line, which will normally be released in late September, will face delays of several weeks.

However, executives predicted continued strong performance from the company's products.

Other major technology companies, Amazon.com Inc and Facebook Inc, also released results that exceeded Wall Street targets and sent their stocks up.

With 60 percent of sales in international markets, the Cupertino, Calif., Refinitiv-based IBES data generated iPhone sales of $ 26.42 billion, $ 4 billion more than analysts expected.

In an interview with Reuters, CEO Tim Cook said sales dropped in May and June after April interruptions, supported by what he described as "strong" launch of the $ 399 iPhone SE launched in April .

"I think the existing economic incentive – and I'm not just focusing on the United States, but more generally – was a help," Cook told Reuters.

The continued growth in services and accessories also showed the firmness of the company's brand, which prompted investors to consider it a comparable safe haven and boost share prices since March.

The company had strong sales in its Greater China region, where aggressive prices during a Christmas business season in June and a cheaper iPhone SE model released in April helped sales grow 2 percent to $ 9.33 billion.

"China remains a key ingredient in Apple's recipe for success as we estimate that around 20 percent of iPhone upgrades will come from this region next year," Wedbush Securities Daniel Ives said in a note.

Apple also announced a 4-to-1 stock split, saying it wanted the shares to be available to a wide range of investors. Shares rose above $ 400 for the first time on Thursday, although they were proportionately higher before a 7-to-1 split in 2014.

Apple's sales and earnings for the third quarter were $ 59.69 billion and $ 2.58 per share, compared to analysts' expectations of $ 52.25 billion and $ 2.04 Dollars per share.

Sales in the services segment, which includes offerings such as iCloud and Apple Music, rose 14.8 percent to $ 13.16 billion, compared to analysts' expectations of $ 13.18 billion. Cook told Reuters that Apple had 550 million paying subscribers on its platform, up from 515 in the previous quarter.

Sales in the wearables segment, which includes the Apple Watch, increased 16.7 percent to $ 6.45 billion, compared to an estimate of $ 6.0 billion.

Apple made no forecast for the fourth quarter of the fiscal year.

Apple benefited from remote work and learning trends, with sales of $ 6.58 billion and $ 7.08 billion in its iPad and Mac segments, which are expected to be $ 4.88 billion and $ 6.06, respectively Billion USD exceeded.

"Both had some really significant product announcements in late March, early April," Cook told Reuters. "You combine that with home work and distance learning, and you get really, really strong results."

However, the global smartphone market stagnated before the novel corona virus slowed down, and Apple has focused heavily on growing its service business, where the company posted the fastest sales growth in the third quarter. The biggest component of this business is the App Store, where Apple generates commissions between 15 and 30 percent on some sales.

On Wednesday, Cook faced questions from U.S. lawmakers about Apple's store-related practices that have been attacked by independent app developers who said the rules and unpredictable approval process disadvantaged them against the iPhone maker.