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Apple, Facebook, and Amazon All Just Obliterated Earnings Estimates

By Daniel Sparks – Jul 31, 2020 at 6:06AM

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Analysts are drastically underestimating tech companies' second-quarter performance.

COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on the economy, leading to difficult times for many businesses. But there's some good news on Wall Street this week. One subset of companies is putting up some impressive numbers: tech. The companies enabling digital transformations and providing services to help people connect and shop digitally are reporting quarterly results well above what analysts were expecting.

Quarterly updates from Apple (AAPL -0.80%), Facebook (META -0.86%), and Amazon (AMZN -3.31%) perfectly illustrate how tech is thriving, as people all around the world practice social distancing. All three of these companies crushed analyst estimates, sending their shares sharply higher in after-hours trading on Thursday as big tech scored a hat trick.

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Image source: Getty Images.

Here's a look at each company's results compared to analyst estimates.


Apple reported fiscal third-quarter revenue of $59.7 billion, translating to 11% year-over-year growth. Earnings per share (EPS) jumped 18% year over year to $2.58. This blew away analysts' consensus forecasts for a 2.9% year-over-year decline in revenue and earnings per share of $2.04.

The tech giant saw growth across every product segment, and its gross profit margin improved from 37.5% in the year-ago period to 38%. "In uncertain times, this performance is a testament to the important role our products play in our customers' lives and to Apple's relentless innovation," said Apple CEO Tim Cook in the company's earnings release.


Facebook reported an 11% year-over-year increase in revenue, leading to earnings per share of $1.80. Analysts, on average, were expecting revenue to rise just 3.1%. And the consensus forecast for the social network's EPS was $1.39. 

Daily active users on Facebook rose 12% year over year to 1.79 billion, and daily active unique users across all of the company's apps rose 15% year over year to 2.47 billion.


Saving the best for last, Amazon fired on all cylinders during Q2.

The e-commerce and cloud-computing company's revenue surged 40% year over year to $88.9 billion. Analysts, on average, expected revenue to increase 28.6% billion to $81.5 billion. EPS was $10.30, soaring past a consensus forecast for $1.46. 

Yes, you heard that right: Amazon's EPS was $10.30, up from $5.22 in the year-ago quarter and coming in about seven times higher than analysts' average estimate.

Looking to Q2, management said it expects second-quarter revenue to be between $87 billion and $93 billion, translating to 24% to 33% year-over-year growth. Analysts were modeling for approximately 23.3% revenue growth. Even more important, management said it expects $2 billion to $5 billion in operating income in Q3, even as it plans to spend $2 billion on operating costs related to COVID-19.

All three of these companies are showing that analysts may be underestimating how well tech companies are positioned to benefit during these unique times.

John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Randi Zuckerberg, a former director of market development and spokeswoman for Facebook and sister to its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Daniel Sparks has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Amazon, Apple, and Facebook and recommends the following options: short January 2022 $1940 calls on Amazon and long January 2022 $1920 calls on Amazon. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Stocks Mentioned

Apple Stock Quote
$146.63 (-0.80%) $-1.18 Stock Quote
$91.01 (-3.31%) $-3.12
Meta Platforms Stock Quote
Meta Platforms
$122.43 (-0.86%) $-1.06

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