Apple and Facebook deliver strong earnings in boon to markets

 Apple and Facebook deliver strong earnings in boon to markets

Apple and Facebook delivered on blowout earnings Wednesday evening, giving US markets a lift into the back half of the busiest earnings week of the quarter. 

Apple said sales jumped 54% during its fiscal second quarter, with each product category seeing double-digit growth. The company also reported a staggering $89.6 billion profit, topping estimates of $77.4 billion, according to data from Refinitiv.

Apple also said it would increase its dividend by 7% and authorized $90 billion in share buybacks. 

CEO Tim Cook said the company avoided taking a hit from the microchip shortage that’s hammered other companies by burning through supply buffers. But Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri warned that the shortage could cost the company $3 billion to $4 billion in revenue next quarter.

Apple shares were up almost 3% in early trading. 

“We have seen many blow out quarters in our many years covering Apple, although last night’s March quarter we would characterize as one for the record books in Cupertino,” Dan Ives, managing director at Wedbush Securities, said. 

Apple said sales jumped 54% during its fiscal second quarter.
Apple said sales jumped 54% during its fiscal second quarter.
AP

Facebook, for its part, reported a 48% year-over-year jump in revenue and $9.5 billion in profit, up 94% compared with a year ago. CEO Mark Zuckerberg emphasized the company’s push into e-commerce, saying on a conference call with analysts that the company has over 1 billion monthly active users who use Facebook Marketplace.

Shares of Facebook were trading more than 7% higher in the premarket.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on a conference call with analysts that the company has over 1 billion monthly active users on Facebook Marketplace.
Getty Images

Other companies have posted strong numbers over the past 48 hours that are lifting the markets. McDonald’s on Thursday announced that its revenue topped pre-pandemic levels in a big sign that the US recovery could be accelerating. And construction equipment manufacturer Caterpillar beat expectations with its earnings Thursday morning.

Shares of the $126 billion company were up more than 1% on news that revenue grew 12% compared with a year ago, a sign that construction activity is picking up.

Facebook reported $9.5 billion in profit, up 94% compared with a year ago.
Facebook reported $9.5 billion in profit, up 94% compared with a year ago.
REUTERS

Investors will be watching for more clues as Amazon and others report earnings later Thursday and Friday to finish out the busiest week of earnings this quarter. Exxon, AT&T, Chevron and more are slated to report earnings on Friday. 

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