It was a busy week for tech company earnings and there was one clear winner: Facebook (FB) founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
The biggest question in the air after Facebook reported earnings on Wednesday was when would Zuck become the richest person in the world (turns out, not for a long time – Facebook shares would have to almost triple for him to overtake Bill Gates).
Facebook shares jumped 5% after the top social networking site reported its second-quarter revenue jumped 60% to $2.9 billion and adjusted earnings per share more than doubled to 42 cents.
Gates is currently worth an estimated $85 billion and Zuckerberg, after the recent stock jump, only $33 billion, according to Bloomberg’s billionaires ranking. Facebook stock, which is currently trading around $75, would have to hit $200 for Zuck to catch up, according to Bloomberg wealth reporter David de Jong.
At the other extreme, investors aren’t helping get Jeff Bezos into the world’s richest person conversation. Amazon (AMZN) shares were off 11% Friday morning after the giant Internet retailer posted a larger second-quarter loss than expected and said it might lose as much as $810 million in the third quarter.
Analysts fretted that Amazon’s increasing spending on a dizzying array of initiatives – from original video series to the new Fire phone to expansion in China – isn’t showing up quickly in sales or the number of items sold.
Still, beneath the surface, there were some positive trends for those with a long-term Amazon outlook. While huge price cuts in cloud services hit revenue growth, Amazon claimed thousands of new customers and a 90% increase in usage. And despite increasing the price of its Prime service by $20, Amazon added more new prime members in the second quarter than in the same quarter last year.
Facebook wasn’t the only beneficiary of increasing digital advertising. Google (GOOGL) posted a 14% increase in revenue and a 27% profit per share gain. Its shares gained 4% the next day.
Apple’s (AAPL) quarter was seen as a mere placeholder ahead of the expected launch of new iPhones in the fall. Thanks to a 28% jump in sales in China – versus less than 3% for the rest of the world – Apple met Wall Street’s revenue expectations and slightly exceeded earnings per share. Its shares gained a healthy 3% the next day.
New Microsoft (MSFT) CEO Satya Nadella was so busy issuing 3,000 word memos in the weeks before earnings that his company’s report got little attention. Microsoft slightly exceeded Wall Street expectations with $23.4 billion of revenue but missed on earnings per share of 55 cents, thanks to the money-losing Nokia handset business.
But Nadella has been sharply cutting expenses – and headcount – putting Microsoft on the path for bigger gains in the future.
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