Apple, Amazon, Alphabet: Tech giants stumble on quarterly reports

The online boom from the corona pandemic seems to be fading.

Apple, Amazon, Alphabet: Tech giants stumble on quarterly reports

The online boom from the corona pandemic seems to be fading. The past quarter was not ideal for Apple, Amazon and Google's parent company Alphabet - for various reasons.

Apple, Amazon and Google group Alphabet all faced headwinds for their businesses in the past quarter. The stock exchange was quite disappointed with its numbers after the soaring in the corona pandemic. While Apple's iPhone production bottlenecks are fatal, Amazon has to spend more money than expected to initiate necessary austerity measures.

The iPhone group is usually a money printing machine in the Christmas quarter - but this time there was a problem with Apple's most important product. Corona lockdowns in Chinese factories caused bottlenecks for the lucrative iPhone 14 Pro in November and December. iPhone revenues fell by a good eight percent and dragged down group sales. CEO Tim Cook was convinced that without the shortage, the iPhone business would have grown even in an overall weak smartphone market.

Instead of the usual record figures, there was now a drop in sales of a good five percent to 117.2 billion dollars. The bottom line was a quarterly profit of just under $30 billion - $4.6 billion less than a year earlier. The stock fell more than 3 percent in after-hours trading on Thursday. In the current quarter, Apple sees sales under pressure from the weak economy and unfavorable exchange rates.

Despite fears of inflation and recession, Amazon made more sales than expected in the Christmas quarter. Revenues increased 9 percent to $149.2 billion. However, higher spending pushed operating profit down from $3.5 billion to $2.7 billion. The world's largest online retailer had to spend a lot of money on austerity measures such as the closure of unprofitable shops and a large wave of layoffs. What is intended to reduce costs in the long term initially caused some.

Net income was just $278 million in the fourth quarter. This was mainly due to a value correction of the stake in the weakening electric car manufacturer Rivian. The figures were not well received by investors: the share initially fell by five percent after the trading session. Amazon's outlook for the current quarter disappointed with a sales forecast of $121 billion to $126 billion and an expected operating profit of between zero and four billion. In addition, the important cloud business has not recently grown as strongly as hoped.

Google, as the core of the group, felt the lull in the online advertising market in the past quarter. The advertising business for the search engine and video platform YouTube fell by around 3.6 percent to $59 billion. However, gains in cloud services and good currency deals helped close the gap. The parent Alphabet was able to show a one percent increase in sales to a good 76 billion dollars. Analysts had expected more. The stock lost nearly 5 percent in after-hours trading. Bottom line, profits fell by a good third to $13.6 billion.

In the midst of the hype about the text machine ChatGPT, Google is preparing its competitor's software for public use after a long hesitation. Google users should be able to interact "very soon" with such language systems, among other things as a supplement to web searches, said CEO Sundar Pichai. Google has had its voice software used internally by employees for the past few years, but shied away from a broad market launch due to the risk of misuse.