Coronavirus News Asia

Pandemic takes center stage as Big Tech reports

Big Tech firms set to report quarterly results in the coming days are facing the challenge of spotlighting their roles battling the coronavirus pandemic without seeming as though they are cashing in on upheaval from the health crisis.

The normal talk on profits and revenue projections are likely to be replaced by discussions on how the world’s most powerful companies are helping research for a Covid-19 treatment, protecting workers and easing the pains of locked-down consumers.

Quarterly updates are due this week from Google parent Alphabet, Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon and Apple, all of which will see an impact from the pandemic.

“We’ll see is a big portion of their earnings presentations about what they’ve done to fight Covid-19,” said Patrick Moorhead, analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy.

“It’s important not to talk about new share buybacks. If they haven’t made huge investments in trying to help Covid victims or find a cure, they may be announcing more about that.”

The novel coronavirus crisis has disrupted operations at tech powerhouses known for disrupting traditional businesses.

Fewer people are buying new smartphones; more people are online and using social platforms but online advertising is slumping; cloud computing needs are growing; and more consumers are relying on delivery of essential goods from Amazon.

Shareholders vs consumers

The tech companies will be highlighting their social responsibilities but also sending a message to shareholders and investors, said analyst Jack Gold of J. Gold Associates.

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