Apple, Google, Snapchat and Meta all reported their quarterly earnings this week.
1. Moderately happy
Wall Street is showing some signs of recovery in 2023. Amazon’s top-line growth was better than expected in Q4, with revenue reaching $149.2 billion, a nine per cent year-over-year increase. Its bottom line still fell short due to higher costs, one-time charges, and a decline in the value of its investment in EV maker Rivian.
The advertising market is also rejoicing at the news that Meta reported better than expected results in its Q4 2022 earnings. The company rose over 27 per cent on Thursday after CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced cuts in capital and operational expenditure as well as a $40 billion stock buyback. Thanks to these results and slowing interest rate hikes, the Nasdaq Composite is up more than 16 per cent year to date, its best performance since 1975.
2. Falling short
The tech world is still facing headwinds as some of the biggest players in the industry are reporting declining growth and missing expectations. Alphabet, Google’s parent company, has posted its fourth consecutive decline in quarterly profit and a one per cent drop in sales due to a slowdown in digital advertising driven by rising interest rates.
Meanwhile, Snap is facing its third disappointing earnings report in a row as a slowing economy and privacy updates limit its advertising capabilities. In a blow to Apple, the company missed its Q1 earnings expectations as iPhone sales fell more than eight per cent year-over-year due to COVID lockdowns and worker protests at a key manufacturing facility in China.
3. The Great Price War
Ford has reduced the prices of its Mustang Mach-E electric vehicle range to compete with Tesla’s recent price cuts in the US and international markets. Four of the six models are now priced below the $55,000 cap of Joe Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act and are eligible for the US government’s $7,500 clean vehicle tax credit.
The Mach-E is considered the biggest challenger to Tesla’s dominance in US electric vehicle sales, with Ford aiming to reduce customer wait times, offer competitive pricing and provide a top-notch ownership experience.
4. Time’s ticking
TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew is set to have dramatic showdown in the US Congress on March 23rd as he testifies about the app’s security and privacy practices before the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
This marks his first Congressional testimony with the focus of the hearing to be on TikTok’s consumer privacy and data practices, its relationship with the Chinese government, and concerns about its impact on children.
5. That’ll be 20 dollars
OpenAI is launching ChatGPT Plus, a premium version of its chatbot that offers faster response times as well as first access to new features and priority access during peak times for a monthly fee of $20.
The subscription model will help ensure free access remains available to the broader user base. OpenAI plans to expand into other geographic regions and is actively considering options for less expensive plans to improve accessibility.
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