Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Intel increased profits by more than $2 billion and revenue by $19 billion in just one year.Technology companies have been dominating the news and investors’ attention, and a series of earnings reports Thursday afternoon showed why.
Four of the most valuable tech companies in the world—Amazon.com Inc. AMZN, -0.05% , Google parent company Alphabet Inc. GOOGL, +0.00% GOOG, -0.08% , Microsoft Corp. MSFT, +4.65% and Intel Corp. INTC, +1.40% — destroyed expectations for profit and revenue in third-quarter reports Thursday afternoon, collectively bringing in about $2.2 billion more profit and $19 billion more revenue than in the same quarter a year ago. Stock in those four companies jumped across the board in late trading, which would make them worth even more than the combined market cap of nearly $2 trillion they enjoyed at the end of Thursday’s trading session.
Alphabet had perhaps the most astounding beat of the afternoon, as profit rose $1.12 billion and revenue $9.5 billion from a year before. The Google parent company reported third-quarter net income of $6.73 billion, or $9.57 a share, on revenue of $27.8 billion. That performance destroyed forecasts, as analysts on average expected Alphabet to report earnings of $8.31 a share on revenue of $26.9 billion. In a conference call, Alphabet Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat credited mobile search, the Google Cloud Platform and Google’s expanded hardware efforts with boosting the company, as well as YouTube. The company’s stock rise in late trading put it close to a $700 billion market cap, which would make it only the second company in U.S. history to achieve that mark, after Apple Inc. AAPL, +0.73%
Amazon enjoyed the largest initial stock pop in after-hours trading of the four after the e-commerce giant produced an unexpectedly large profit. Amazon investors and analysts were understandably expecting scant profits after the company’s earnings plunged 77% in the previous quarter and executives were unapologetic about their free-spending ways before turning around and buying Whole Foods Market Inc., a lower-margin business. While profit has never been Amazon’s strong suit, the company has managed to steadily boost its huge revenue totals.