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Tech Stocks Last Week: Apple, Facebook, and Shopify Report Earnings

By Daniel Sparks - Nov 5, 2017 at 12:36PM

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For all three of these stocks, rapid growth was the name of the game.

As earnings season continued last week, tech stocks served investors some interesting news yet again. In this week's review of tech stock stories, we'll look at earnings reports from three hot stocks: Apple ( AAPL 3.42% ), Facebook ( FB 2.28% ), and Shopify ( SHOP 6.31% ).

Apple

Apple finished out its fiscal 2017 strong, reporting its highest fourth-quarter revenue ever.

An excited customer holds a new iPhone 8 Plus on the day of the iPhone 8 launch

Image source: Apple.

But more notable than Apple's absolute revenue of $52.6 billion during the quarter was how revenue growth accelerated for the fourth consecutive quarter in a row. The quarter's revenue was up 12% compared to revenue in the year-ago quarter. In the prior quarter, revenue was up 7% year over year.

Quarter

Year-Over-Year Revenue Growth

Q4 2017

12%

Q3 2017

7%

Q2 2017

5%

Q1 2017

3%

Fiscal quarters shown. Data source: Apple quarterly press releases. Table by author.

iPhone revenue for the quarter was up an impressive 2%, even without the help of the iPhone X (which didn't launch until Nov. 3). In addition, revenue increased across every product category.

Demonstrating the effectiveness of Apple's aggressive share repurchase program, earnings per share increased much faster than revenue, jumping 24% year over year to $2.07.

Apple topped off its solid fourth-quarter results with huge guidance for its holiday quarter. Management said it expects first-quarter revenue between $84 billion and $87 billion, up from revenue or $78.4 billion in its last holiday quarter.

Facebook

After repeated warnings from management that it anticipated revenue growth to come down meaningfully in the second half of 2017, the social network's revenue growth did the opposite: It accelerated. Third-quarter revenue rose 47% year over year, higher than the 45% revenue growth it posted in its prior quarter.

Though management's expectations for ad load to no longer contribute meaningful growth to ad revenue in the second half of the year did play out as anticipated, Facebook more than made up for this loss of a key catalyst with strong growth in its ad prices.

Net income and EPS were up 71% and 69% year over year, respectively.

Shopify

Shopify, which has gained attention from investors in recent years as its stock price soared more than 200%, extended its long track record of impressive growth. The company reported a 72% year-over-year increase in third-quarter revenue and an 86% rise in gross profit. The growth in Shopify's business was driven by a 79% year-over-year increase in merchant solutions revenue and a 65% rise in subscriptions solutions revenue. Third-quarter gross merchandise volume, or the total dollar value of orders processed on Shopify's platform, was up 69% compared to the year-ago quarter.

In today's fast-changing retail environment, merchants large and small are hungry to leverage all that technology can do for them," said Shopify CFO Russ Jones about the quarter. "This is why our platform is so valuable to merchants and why they keep coming to Shopify. Our results underscore this, with another record quarter for merchant adds, along with a record number of store launches on Shopify Plus in the third quarter."

On the back of such strong results, management increased its guidance for the full year. Shopify now expects full-year revenue to be between $656 million and $658 million, up from a previous forecast for revenue between $642 million and $648 million. Management also said it expects a narrower adjusted operating loss, raising its forecast from a loss in the range of $7 million to $11 million to a loss between $1.5 million and $3.5 million.

Other notable stories in tech last week included Pandora's plummeting stock price and Facebook's insightful earnings call.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis – even one of our own – helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

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Stocks Mentioned

Apple Inc. Stock Quote
Apple Inc.
AAPL
$170.97 (3.42%) $5.65
Meta Platforms, Inc. Stock Quote
Meta Platforms, Inc.
FB
$325.13 (2.28%) $7.26
Shopify Inc. Stock Quote
Shopify Inc.
SHOP
$1,518.20 (6.31%) $90.08

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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