- The turnover generated by the giant firms is expected to be £324 billion
- Earnings season is likely to prove an “eye opener” for Wall Street and lead to a stock rally
- Amazon’s sales are expected to rise 11% in the three months to the end of September
America’s tech giants are poised to defy the global market gloom this week by launching what is expected to be a record earnings season with profits of £62 billion.
Revenues from the giant companies – Meta, Amazon, Microsoft, Alphabet and Apple – are expected to total £324bn.
This comes at a time when broader markets are plagued by fears over the Middle East conflict and interest rates.
Government bonds are under pressure, causing difficulties for both government finances and investors.
But Dan Ives of Wedbush Securities said the tech earnings season would likely be an “eye-opener” for Wall Street and spark a stock rally.
“The tech universe is poised for a strong earnings season,” Ives said. “The macro story overshadows the biggest technology revolution in 30 years.”
Ives argues that developments in artificial intelligence (AI) are ushering in another “1995 moment” – when it became clear that the Internet would have a major impact on the economy and society. Companies like Amazon and Alphabet, which offer cloud services that enable remote access to computing resources, will benefit from making their products AI-enabled.
Companies such as Alphabet and Microsoft are also directly involved in AI platforms, with Microsoft being a major investor in OpenAI, which operates the AI platform ChatGPT. Google, owned by Alphabet, has developed its own AI tool called Bard.
Technological progress is not without hurdles for the companies involved. Sophie Lund-Yates of Hargreaves Lansdown said growth at Amazon’s cloud division AWS had slowed and markets would be looking for “signs that performance will accelerate again” when the company reports results on Thursday.
Forecasts compiled by Refinitiv suggest Amazon’s sales will rise 11 percent to £116 billion in the three months to the end of September, leading to a rise in profits to £5 billion.
And Amazon seems to be optimistic, hiring 250,000 employees in the US for the holiday season.
“This suggests management is confident about the consumer outlook,” Ms. Lund-Yates said.
But for Microsoft, cloud computing could pick up the slack from a slowdown in its traditional business of selling Windows software, she added.
But again, growth will be the big picture, with analysts forecasting sales of £44.7bn and profits of £16.3bn.
Meta – owner of Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram – is expected to make a quarterly profit of £7.6bn, with Alphabet making a profit of £15.1bn.
But Apple, which reports next week, expects sales to fall to £73bn, although its bottom line will continue to outperform the rest at almost £18bn.