Google’s parent company, Alphabet, stated on Tuesday that earnings in its latest quarter rose sharply in the same period a year ago, boosted by strong demand for online advertising on its search results and YouTube videos and by continued growth in its cloud computing arm.
Alphabet posted revenue of $55.31 billion, up 34 percent from a year earlier, and net profit more than doubled to $17.93 billion in the first quarter. It was the third straight quarter of record profit for the business. The results came in above analysts’ expectations. Shares of Alphabet climbed more than 4 percent in after-hours trading.
Similar to the other tech conglomerates, Alphabet has thrived through the pandemic. Following a pullback in travel-related advertising during the first month or two of the pandemic, Google’s advertising business has rebounded with gusto. Businesses are spending money with Google to target customers who are spending more time online.
Advertising revenue rose 32 percent in the quarter spurred by strong demand for search marketing. Alphabet also generated $6 billion in YouTube ads, an increase of 49 percent.
The results demonstrated once again the enduring strength of Google’s online properties, which remain unfazed — at least fiscally — by regulatory pressure and a flurry of antitrust lawsuits.
In a conference call with analysts, Ruth Porat, Alphabets principal financial officer, said the company benefited during the quarter from elevated online actions but warned that the trend may not last once lockdown restrictions are lifted and markets recover.
Google’s cloud computing business has continued to scoop up clients during the pandemic as companies have moved more of their data and work into centralized data centers in an effort to save money and become more digitally nimble. Revenue at the cloud industry grew 46 percent, while its losses narrowed to $974 million in the first quarter. But Google continues to be a distant third to Amazon and Microsoft in the cloud business.
Alphabet’s results were helped by belt-tightening during the pandemic. The organization ’s sales and marketing costs remained flat even though revenue grew by $14 billion, and it reduced general spending from a year earlier. The decreased costs also took place while Google was continuing to employ new staff. Alphabet increased its head count by almost 17,000 people to roughly 140,000 employees worldwide.
Microsoft on Tuesday reported that its quarterly sales grew at one of its strongest rates in years, as the company was poised to cross $2 trillion in market value.
Revenue rose to $41.7 billion for its fiscal third quarter, up 19 percent from a year earlier, its largest quarterly increase since 2018. Profits jumped 44 percent to $15.5 billion. The results surpassed both the firm ’s and Wall Street’s expectations, underlining how Microsoft and other major tech companies have been winners in the coronavirus pandemic.
Over a year to the pandemic, digital adoption curves aret slowing down, Satya Nadella, Microsofts chief executive, said in a statement. “They’re accelerating. ”
Sales of commercial cloud products generated $17.7 billion in revenue, up 33 percent from a year earlier. Revenue from Azure, Microsoft’s flagship cloud computing product, rose 50 percent, while commercial Office 365 products grew 22 percent as corporate clients adopted conducting their computing and other tools on the cloud.
Microsoft has closed in on Amazon’s lead in cloud computing, according to data from Synergy Research Group. Amazon has about a third of the growing market, and Microsoft has surpassed 20 percent market share.
Sales of personal computing products rose to $13 billion in the quarter, up 19 percent, as people bought more computers and opted for new devices with bigger screens during the pandemic to work and learn at home. Gaming revenue grew 50 percent, fueled by spending on the new Xbox gaming console, which was launched late last year, in addition to on Xbox services and content.
The business also benefited from changes in foreign exchange rates, in addition to a tax-related court decision in India.
Seeing signs that customers are eager to collect and put the dark days of the pandemic supporting them, the coffee giant Starbucks said that its earnings in the United States made a “full recovery” in the first three months of the year.
Same-store sales from the U.S. climbed 9 percent in the firm ’s second quarter compared with the same period last year, while global earnings climbed 11 percent to $6.7 billion.
In the last quarter, were seeing quite early indications that family and friends were celebrating being together again, Kevin Johnson, the president and chief executive of Starbucks, said on a call with analysts on Tuesday after the close of the markets. “While not all markets are opening in the same speed concerning vaccine supply, we know this is the key that permits us to once again be together. ”
Starbucks made a gain of $659 million in the quarter, up significantly from $328 million a year earlier, when a lot of its stores were closed because of the quarantine restrictions around the world.
Starbucks said it expected global same-store earnings for the complete year to climb up to 23 percent as the rest of the world recovers and reopens in the pandemic.
While the Covid-19 pandemic isn’t over, this second is giving us confidence to raise our full-year guidance, Mr. Johnson said.
U.S. members registered in its loyalty rewards program grew 18 percent over the last year, Mr. Johnson said; there are now more than 23 million 90-day active members. Drive-through activity also remained robust, with higher ticket sales as customers purchased multiple beverages and frequently added a food item to their purchase, like the Impossible Breakfast Sandwich or cake pops,” Mr. Johnson said.
Basecamp, a company that makes productivity applications, said on Monday that it had made some internal changes, including a ban on talking about politics at work.
“Every dialogue remotely related to politics, advocacy or society at large quickly spins away from agreeable,” Jason Fried, Basecamp’s chief executive, wrote in a blog article . “You shouldn’t need to wonder if staying out of it means you’re complicit, or wading into it means you’re a goal. ”
The timing of these announcements is probably no crash, following a surge of employee activism and corporate action on social issues. Big companies like Amazon, BlackRock and Google took a stand this month against Republican efforts to enact restrictive election rules in almost every state.
Surveys indicate that a large portion of workers consider that the firms they work for should talk up on social issues. The new policy at Basecamp, which has about 60 employees, is one of the least hedged signs yet that the feeling isn’t always mutual.
Both supervisors framed their new policies as a way to eliminate distractions and carved out exceptions for problems they consider relevant to their companies. “If there is a bill introduced around crypto, we may participate,” Mr. Armstrong wrote last year, while one of Basecamp’s co-founders, David Hansson, wrote on Monday that the firm might engage on “topics like antitrust, privacy, employee surveillance. ”
The motions, in both cases, were met with a mixture of admiration and criticism, with supporters saying the policies are great for business and detractors asserting that choosing to abstain from politics is inherently political and probably impossible to enforce.
Besides discouraging politics talk on work programs, Basecamp said it would end “paternalistic benefits” like a fitness reimbursement and education allowances (it plans to provide employees an equivalent quantity of cash instead), prohibit committees and prevent “lingering or dwelling on past decisions. ”
Basecamp’s changes are noteworthy because its founders have long evangelized the firm ’s worker-friendly culture in books and blog articles.
Mr. Armstrong of Coinbase applauded Basecamp on Twitter, calling it “another mission focused company. ” “ Who will be next? ” he asked.
In the months since the election tech firm Smartmatic sued Fox News and three of its own anchors, the two companies have participated in a prehearing back-and-forth that continued Monday when Fox filed briefs in support of a prior motion to have the lawsuit dismissed.
In its defamation lawsuit, which was filed in New York State Supreme Court on Feb. 4, Smartmatic accused Fox and the anchor Lou Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo and Jeanine Pirro of promoting falsehoods regarding the business and widespread fraud at the 2020 presidential elections.
Shortly after the suit was filed, Fox canceled Mr. Dobbs’s program on Fox Business and filed a motion for a dismissal of the lawsuit, arguing that the claims of electoral fraud broadcast on Fox News and Fox Business were newsworthy and handled fairly. Smartmatic responded on April 12, with a concise saying that the three Fox anchors had played along as their guests encouraged election-related conspiracy theories.
In its latest volley, Fox asserted that its policy of Smartmatic was part of its overall reporting on a challenge of the election result based on claims made by former President Donald J. Trump.
Smartmatic asks this court to become the first in history to hold the media accountable for reporting allegations made by a sitting president and his attorneys and to break that barrier in the context of one of the most newsworthy events imaginable : a contested presidential election, Fox said in its filing on Monday. “This court should decline that First-Amendment-defying request. ”
Representatives for Smartmatic declined to comment.
Smartmatic has argued that the Fox hosts knew the on-air statements regarding the company were not accurate. If a court determines that Smartmatic is a public figure, Smartmatic’s attorneys will have to demonstrate that Fox acted with “ real malice” in its treatment of the provider.
The Fox briefs filed on Monday argued that Smartmatic, which is seeking $2.7 billion in damages, had not demonstrated that its stations or its anchors acted with malice, showing only that the three Fox hosts had not investigated the claims made in their apps.
The Fox brief said that Smartmatic’s “allegations largely boil down to accusations of mere ‘failure to investigate. ’”
It included, “Seeking to compensate for the weakness of its allegations, Smartmatic highlights their volume. But a stack of inadequate allegations is still insufficient. ”
The briefs filed by Fox on Monday are likely to be the last in its case against Smartmatic before a court considers the issue. A hearing date hasn’t been scheduled.
Another election technology company, Dominion Voting Systems, sued Fox for defamation in March. Fox called that suit “baseless” and vowed to fight it in court.
A $28.6 billion grant finance for restaurants, pubs, caterers and other food companies will start Monday, the government said on Tuesday, offering an extra lifeline to some of America’s hardest hit small companies.
The Restaurant Revitalization Fund, which was created last month by the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, will provide grants of up to $10 million to replace lost earnings. The amount each business can receive is generally the difference between its 2019 and 2020 gross receipts, minus some other federal assistance such as Paycheck Protection Program loans.
The money is expected to go fast. Eligible businesses have lost hundreds of billions of dollars, according to congressional estimates, but lawmakers provided funding to pay just a sliver of that total.
Restaurants are the center of our areas and propel economic activity on Main Streets across the nation, said Isabella Casillas Guzman, the head of the Small Business Administration, which will disburse the grants. “They are one of the businesses that are hardest hit and need support to survive this pandemic. We would like restaurants to know that help is here. ”
All eligible businesses will have the ability to apply beginning on Monday, but for the first 21 days, the Small Business Administration will approve claims exclusively from companies that are majority-owned by people who fall into one of the priority groups designated by Congress: women, veterans, and individuals who are both socially and economically disadvantaged. The bureau said that latter category includes those who meet specific income and asset limits and are Black, Hispanic, Native American, Asian-Pacific American or South Asian American.
Applicants included in those groups will be requested to self-certify their eligibility to the exclusivity period. That three-week priority interval alone is very likely to exhaust the fund.
Publicly traded companies, businesses with over 20 locations and restaurants which have permanently closed are ineligible for the grants.
Applications can be submitted via a Small Business Administration website and a few point-of-sale systems. The tech firms Clover, NCR Corporation, Square and Toast are working with the agency to allow applications for their customers.
Eager restaurateurs are preparing to apply — and have started lobbying for additional funds to keep qualified applicants from being shut out.
This is fantastic news, however, the $28.6B wont be sufficient, Russell Jackson, a new york chef, wrote on Twitter at a message urging Congress to refill the program as needed. ”
JPMorgan Chase is opening its offices to all employees in the USA on May 17, subject to a 50 percent occupancy limitation, based on an internal memo sent Tuesday obtained by The New York Times.
The bank, which employs more than 240,000 globally, told its office-based employees the opening comes as the bank prepares itself and its own workers for a more formal return to the workplace at the start of July. ( Workers of retail bank branches have been working on location throughout the pandemic.)
We are welcoming more of you back next month so you can get comfortable being back in an office environment, the banks six-member operating committee wrote in the memo. “Understanding this may take a while, we would fully expect by early July, all U.S.-based employees will be back at work on a consistent rotational program, also subject to our current 50 percent occupancy cap. ”
Companies have been weighing how, and when, to bring workers back to the workplace. Microsoft opened its headquarters to workers last month, while still encouraging those who wish to to stay at home. IBM created a “reorientation guide ” for workers coming back to the office.
We know that many of you are eager to come back, but we also know that for some, the notion of coming in on a regular basis is a change whereby youll have to manage, JPMorgans operating committee stated in the email.
The fund industry, which puts a premium on in-person interaction and instruction, has been among the most eager to get employees back at the office. Investment banks also have fought to keep up morale as record-breaking amounts of work has led some junior analysts to warn of burnout made worse by isolation and the blurring of boundaries between private and professional lives that comes from working in the home.
JPMorgan’s chief executive, Jamie Dimon, said in a recent letter to investors that there were “serious flaws ” from remote work, including delayed decision making and a barriers to learning and creativity. He also acknowledged that the pandemic had hastened trends like hybrid and flexible work policies, such that “working from home will become more permanent in American industry. ”
The bank continues to proceed with construction of its huge new Manhattan headquarters, which is expected to start in 2024 and house 12,000 to 14,000 employees.
We are extremely excited about the buildings public spaces, state-of the-art technology, and health and wellness amenities, among many other features, Mr. Dimon wrote.
The City of London, the square mile in the center of London that is the heart of Britain’s legal and financial services, once had more than half a million daily commuters bustling through its streets. However, the coronavirus pandemic has ushered in a new era of working from home that risks leaving the region permanently depleted. The City of London Corporation, its governing body, is looking for ways to revive it.
1 way it expects to utilize vacant space is to produce at least 1,500 new houses by 2030, the corporation said, as part of a five-year plan announced on Tuesday. The district, which has many train stations, has primarily been a commuter destination, with only about 8,000 inhabitants.
The City, as it’s called, is particularly vulnerable to the trend of flexible working. It hosts hundreds of large companies which have been keen to provide their employees latitude in how often they operate from the office. Last summer, during England’s brief easing of pandemic restrictions, the City’s roads were abandoned while the rest of London and other cities boomed with activity .
Firms have told us that they remain committed to retaining a central London hub, but how they operate will inevitably change to reflect postpandemic tendencies, such as hybrid and flexible working, said Catherine McGuinness, the policy seat at the City of London Corporation.
In New York, programmers will also be working out how to repurpose office buildings in Lower Manhattan into home .
While the City attempts to lure back its usual workers and business visitors, it’s also going to attempt to become more appealing to employees outside financial and professional services. It’s looking into offering cheaper, long-term rent on office space for creative professionals in empty or infrequently employed spaces.
And it hopes to attract more tourists, with events, shopping and cultural activities outside of office hours. We will explore opportunities to enable and animate the Citys weekend and night offer, the report stated. “Bold programming of major events may include traffic-free Saturdays or Sundays in an all-night celebration. ”
BP reported a sharply higher profit for its first quarter of 2021 on Tuesday, signaling that after a grim 2020, oil companies ’ earnings are recovering along with demand for their products.
BP stated that inherent replacement cost profit, the metric most closely watched by analysts, was $2.6 billion, up from $791 million in the period year before. The London giant stated that the price it received for its oil in the quarter was up more than 20 percent. BP explained its trading and marketing of natural gas, where costs also increased, as “exceptionally powerful. ”
Citing strong economic growing in China and the United States, BP said that it expected the oil market to continue to recover from the impacts of the pandemic.
Bernard Looney, the chief executive, has said he would like to use the money from oil and gas operations to finance a shift toward electrical power and other clean energy.
In the first quarter, the plan seemed to work well. The business raked in about $10.9 billion, a sum that included revenue from sales of fossil gas companies, among them a stake in a gas field in Oman. Because of divestments, BP’s oil production fell by 22 percent compared with the same period a year earlier.
At exactly the exact same time, BP expanded into the offshore wind business. It entered into a partnership with Equinor, the Norwegian energy company that is developing wind farms off the East Coast of the USA, and is acquiring offshore wind acreage off Britain at what some in the sector considered high prices.
BP also said that, having fulfilled debt reduction targets, it would resume a program of buying back shares, a way to increase the purchase price of BP stock; it had not bought back shares since the first quarter of last year, as its business had been battered by the pandemic. In the second quarter the company plans to invest $500 million on these purchases.
Last summer, BP also cut its dividend for the first time since the Deepwater Horizon crisis a decade ago, to 5.25 cents a share. The dividend will remain at that level, the company said.
BP said it could generate a surplus with oil prices above $45 a barrel. Lately, prices have been considerably higher, with Brent crude, the worldwide benchmark, at about $66 a barrel.
A Supreme Court case argued on Monday has created strange bedfellows, which didn’t escape the attention of the justices.
The matter pits charities against the State of California over donor disclosure requirements, and it’s a dispute over a seemingly small technical problem that some say has serious consequences for political donations. It has turned groups which are often on opposite sides of political fights into — tentative — allies, the DealBook newsletter reports.
Nonprofit organizations “across the ideological spectrum” filed briefs supporting the petitioners, the Koch-backed charity Americans for Prosperity Foundation, Justice Brett Kavanaugh noted. The foundation argues that California violates the constitutionally protected right to anonymous institution by amassing major donor information and failing to protect it (the state’s website has experienced security breaches). Justice Kavanaugh cited a filing from the American Civil Liberties Union, the N.A.A.C.P. Legal Defense and Education Fund and many others who all agreed that “a critical corollary of the freedom to associate is the right to maintain the confidentiality of a single ’s associations. ”
Surely we dont see eye to eye with the petitioners in this case on each issue, Brian Hauss of this A.C.L.U. said at a news conference after arguments at the court. In this case, the A.C.L.U. standing with the Americans for Prosperity Foundation due to what it calls California’s “systemic incompetence” in failing to protect nonpublic data. Legally speaking, however, it recognized a distinction between public disclosure and nonpublic disclosure. In other words, the short didn’t argue for a general expansion of anonymity.
Opponents say this is a case about “dark cash. ” Democratic senators argued in a brief that the base is advancing the matter as a means to make it easier for special interests to influence politics with untraceable money. This case is truly a stalking horse for campaign finance reform legislation, Justice Stephen Breyer said. A ruling is expected in June.
U.S. stocks were mostly flat on Tuesday as investors digested more company earnings reports and awaited the Federal Reserve’s next policy decision on Wednesday. The S&P 500 was unchanged, while the Nasdaq composite fell 0.3 percent.
Tesla 4.5 percent after the electric-car maker posted a quarterly profit of $438 million, its highest ever. UPS rose 10.4 percent following the parcel delivery company reported earnings that beat analysts’ expectations.
Alphabet, Microsoft and Visa are among businesses also reporting earnings on Tuesday after the market closes.
By last Friday, a quarter of businesses from the S&P 500 had printed their first-quarter outcomes, with 84 percent of these reporting earnings that were better than anticipated, according to FactSet. If this trend holds, it would be the maximum percentage since FactSet started tracking the metric in 2008.
Most European stock indexes fell. The Stoxx Europe 600 declined 0.1 percent.
HSBC shares in London rose 4%, becoming the best performer in the FTSE 100, after the bank said its pretax profits rose nearly 80 percent in the first quarter compared with last year. As the global economic outlook has improved, the bank released $435 million it had set aside for loan losses.
UBS dropped 2 percent following the Swiss bank said it lost $774 million in the first quarter from the collapse of the American hedge fund Archegos Capital Management.
In today’s On Tech newsletter, Shira Ovide says that what tech leaders believe and do matters. But when we focus on the main executives, we sometimes neglect to recognize that ordinary people, not poobahs, make technology as we encounter it.