Spotify to spend $1B buying its own stock

Music streaming service Spotify today said it will spend up to $1 billion between now and April 21, 2026 to repurchase its own shares. The dollar amount represents just under 2.5% of Spotify’s market cap, with the company valued at $41.06 billion this morning as its shares rose 5.1% following the repurchase news.

The company previously executed a similar buyback program in 2018.

A public company using some of its cash to repurchase its shares is nothing new. Many public companies, including Apple, Alphabet, and Microsoft, have active share repurchase programs, and it is common to see mature or nearly-mature companies devoting a fraction of their balance sheet or a regular percentage of their free cash flow to buying back their own equity.

The goal of such efforts is to return cash to shareholders. Buybacks, along with dividends, are among the key ways that companies can use their wealth to reward shareholders. Also, by buying their own stock, companies can boost the value of their individual shares. By limiting the shares in circulation, the company’s share count declines and the value of each share consequently rises, in theory, as it represents a larger fraction of ownership in the corporation.

Spotify shares have traded as high as $387.44 apiece in the past 12 months, but are now worth just $215.84, inclusive of today’s gains. From that perspective, seeing Spotify decide to deploy some cash to repurchase its own equity makes sense — the company is buying low.

But if you ask a recently public company what it intends to do with its excess cash, buybacks are not usually the answer. For example, TechCrunch asked Root Insurance CEO Alex Timm if his company intended to use cash reserves to purchase its own equity after its recent Q2 2021 earnings report. Root’s share price has declined in recent months, perhaps making it an attractive time to reward shareholders through buybacks. Timm demurred on the idea, saying instead that his company is building for the long-term. That translates to: That cash is earmarked for growth, not shareholder return.

But isn’t Spotify still a growth company? It certainly isn’t valued on the weight of its profits. In the first half of 2021, for example, Spotify posted net profit of a mere €3 million on revenues of €4.5 billion.

If Spotify is still a growth-focused company, shouldn’t it preserve its capital to invest in exclusive podcasts and the like — efforts that may grant it pricing power in the future and allow for stronger revenue growth and gross margins over time?

To answer that, we’ll have to check the company’s balance sheet. From its Q2 2021 earnings, here are the key numbers:

  • Spotify closed out the second quarter with “€3.1 billion in cash and cash equivalents, restricted cash, and short term investments.”
  • And in the second quarter, Spotify generated free cash flow of €34 million. That figure was up €7 million from a year earlier despite “higher working capital needs arising from select licensor payments (delayed from Q1), podcast-related payments, and higher ad-receivables”.

More simply, despite paying up for efforts that are generally understood to be key to Spotify’s long-term ability to improve its gross margins — and therefore its net profitability — the company is still throwing off cash. And with a huge bank account earning little, thanks to globally low prices for cash and equivalent holdings, Spotify is using a chunk of its funds to buy back stock.

By spending $1 billion over the next few years, Spotify won’t materially harm its cash position. Indeed, it will remain incredibly cash-rich. However, the move may help defend its valuation and keep itchy investors happy. Moreover, as the company is buying its stock at a firm discount to where the market valued it recently, it could get something akin to a deal, given Spotify’s long-term faith in the value of its own business.

Perhaps the better question as this juncture is not whether Spotify is a weird company for deciding to break off a piece of its wealth for shareholders, but instead why we aren’t seeing other breakeven-ish tech companies with neutral cash flows and fat accounts doing the same.

#alphabet, #apple, #buyback, #dividend, #earnings, #enterprise-software, #equity, #microsoft, #music-streaming-services, #share-buybacks, #shareholders, #spotify, #stock, #stock-market, #tc

Airbnb, DoorDash report earnings as COVID threatens to slow the IRL economy (again)

Home-stay giant Airbnb and on-demand delivery concern DoorDash reported their quarterly results today after the bell.

Both companies were heavily impacted by the onset of COVID-19. Airbnb saw its revenues collapse in 2020 during early lockdowns, leading the company to raise expensive capital and batten its hatches. The company recovered as the year continued, leading to its eventual IPO.

DoorDash, in contrast, managed a simply incredible 2020 as folks stayed home and ordered in. Given that we got both reports on the same day, let’s digest ’em and see how COVID has — and may — impact their results.

Airbnb’s Q2

In the second quarter, Airbnb reported revenues of $1.3 billion, which compares favorably with its Q2 2020 result of $335 million and its 2019 Q2 revenue total of $1.21 billion. In percentage terms, Airbnb’s revenue grew 299% from its Q2 2020 level and 10% from what the company managed during the same period of 2019.

Analysts had expected $1.23 billion in revenue for the period.

Airbnb lost $68 million in the quarter when counting all costs. The company’s adjusted EBITDA, a heavily modified profit metric, came to $217 million in the quarter. Cash from operations in Q2 2021 was $791 million. Looking ahead, here’s what Airbnb had to say regarding its revenue outlook:

[We] expect Q3 2021 revenue to be our strongest quarterly revenue on record and to deliver the highest Adjusted EBITDA dollars and margin ever.

How did the market digest Airbnb’s better-than-expected growth, rising adjusted profit, falling net losses, massive cash generation and expectations of record Q3 revenue? By bidding its shares lower. Airbnb is off around 4.5% in after-hours trading.

Confused? Investors may be worried about the following note from the company, also from the guidance section of its earnings letter:

In the near term, we anticipate that the impact of COVID-19 and the introduction and spread of new variants of the virus, including the Delta variant, will continue to affect overall travel behavior, including how often and when guests book and cancel. As a result, year-over-year comparisons for Nights and Experiences Booked and GBV will continue to be more volatile and non-linear.

While Q3 2021 is looking great for Airbnb, it appears that its future growth could be lumpy or delayed thanks to the ongoing pandemic. There are public indicators pointing to travel rates declining, which could impact Airbnb.

The company’s Q2 results and Q3 anticipations are impressive when compared to where Airbnb was a year ago. But that doesn’t mean that it is entirely out of the COVID woods.

DoorDash’s Q2

Despite generally lower COVID friction in its market during Q2 2021, DoorDash managed to set records for orders and the value of those orders. In the three-month period concluding June 30, 2021, the on-demand food delivery company turned $10.46 billion in order value (marketplace GOV) into $1.24 billion in total revenue. The marketplace GOV number was 70% greater than the Q2 2020 result, while DoorDash’s revenues expanded by 83%.

Investors had expected the company to post $1.08 billion in total revenues, so DoorDash handily bested expectations.

How profitable was DoorDash during the quarter? DoorDash was unprofitable overall, with a net loss of $102 million. In adjusted EBITDA terms, DoorDash saw $113 million in profit during Q2 2021. That’s not too bad, given that Uber cannot manage the same feat with its own food delivery business. DoorDash’s net income was worse than what it managed in Q2 2020, while its adjusted EBITDA improved.

Shares of DoorDash are off around 3.5% in after-hours trading.

Why? It’s not entirely clear. DoorDash said that it expects “Q3 Marketplace GOV to be in a range of $9.3 billion to $9.8 billion, with Q3 Adjusted EBITDA in a range of $0 million to $100 million.” Sure, that’s down a smidgen from its Q2 GOV number, but investors were anticipating DoorDash to post less revenue in Q3 than Q2, so you would think that GOV expectations were also more modest.

Is COVID the answer? Mentions of COVID-19 in the company’s earnings document tend to deal with trailing results and historical efforts to provide relief to restaurants that use DoorDash for orders or delivery. So, there’s not a lot of juice to squeeze there. However, the company did say the following toward the end of its report:

We believe the broad secular shift toward omni-channel local commerce remains nascent. However, the scale and fragmentation of local commerce suggests the problems to be solved will get more difficult, coordination between internal and external stakeholders will become more complex, and vectors for competitive threats will increase. At the same time, we expect the pace of consumer behavioral shifts to slow compared to the extraordinary pace of change in recent quarters.

Simplifying that for us: DoorDash expects slower growth in the future, a more complex business climate and rising competition as it enters new markets. That’s not a mix that would make any investor more excited, we don’t think.

#airbnb, #doordash, #earnings, #food-delivery, #on-demand-food-delivery, #travel

Coinbase crushes Q2 expectations, notes Q3 trading volume is trending lower

After the bell today, Coinbase reported another period of impressive results in its second quarter earnings report.

During the quarter, Coinbase’s total revenue reached $2.23 billion, which helped the company generate net income of $1.61 billion in the three-month period. The company benefited from a one-time line item worth $737.5 million, which stemmed from what Coinbase described as a “tax benefit” from its direct listing earlier the quarter.

This puts us in the odd position of leaning more heavily on the company’s adjusted EBITDA metric, a figure that we usually discount, rather than the stricter net income result. This quarter the adjusted metric is actually a bit clearer regarding the company’s regular profitability. Coinbase posted adjusted EBITDA of $1.1 billion in the period.

The company easily bested expectations, with the market expecting revenues of just $1.85 billion, and adjusted EBITDA of $961.5 million, per Yahoo Finance.

All that’s well and good, but the company provided a fascinating set of data for us to peruse that may help us better understand where the crypto economy stands today. Let’s get into the details.

Trading volume

There are two datasets from Coinbase’s Q2 that we need. The first deals with monthly transacting users, and overall trading volume:

Seeing Coinbase continue to add MTUs in the second quarter was impressive, as was the company’s Q2 trading volume result in light of the falling platform asset figure. Quite simply, Coinbase managed to accrete trading volume despite generally falling crypto prices over the time period in question.

Or as the company put it, “[d]espite price movements, we saw billions of dollars of net asset
inflows and new customers added throughout Q2.”

The next dataset deals with a breakdown of trading volume by source, and type:

The incremental growth in retail volume from Q1 2021 to Q2 2021 is impressive for a single quarter, frankly, but the pace at which Coinbase added institutional volume in the quarter is even stronger. It’s a huge result.

For the more crypto-focused than financials-focused out there, the second set of numbers is even more notable. Ethereum trading volume beat bitcoin trading volume, while “other” was more than twice what bitcoin itself managed.

A changing of the guard? The company listed three reasons for why this happened, the second of which is the most interesting. Per the earnings report:

[The mix shift was driven by] meaningful growth in Ethereum trading volumes, surpassing Bitcoin trading volumes on Coinbase for the first time driven by growth in the DeFi and NFT ecosystems (where Ethereum is an important underlying blockchain), and increased demand driven by our ETH2 staking product.

Basically, the neat stuff that the Ethereum blockchain enables is driving volume in its underlying coin, ether. Bitcoin may be the oldest crypto, but its crown may be starting to rust. Bitcoin remains the largest asset on Coinbase, at 47 percent, however.

Now let’s talk revenues.

Top line

While institutional trading volume was an impressive source of growth for Coinbase, the company’s revenue breakdown remained retail-heavy. Here’s the data:

The transaction revenue growth from Q1 to Q2 speaks for itself, and was a key driver of the company’s strong second-quarter aggregate results. But perhaps more notable was the huge differential in subscription and services revenue at the company, growing nearly 100 percent from $56.4 million in Q1 2021 to $102.6 million in the most recent period.

Certainly, Coinbase remains a transaction-led company, but in revenue terms, its third line-item is becoming material.

Now, the somewhat bad news.

What about Q3 2021?

Let’s start with how Coinbase describes the start to its third quarter:

In July, retail MTUs and total Trading Volume were 6.3 million and $57.0 billion, respectively, as crypto asset prices and crypto asset volatility declined significantly relative to Q2 levels. August month-to-date, retail MTUs and Trading Volume levels have slightly improved compared to July levels but remain lower than earlier in the year. As a result, we believe retail MTUs and total Trading Volume will be lower in Q3 as compared to Q2.

In contrast, Q2 MTUs were 8.8 million and total trading volume, pro-rated for each month of the quarter, came to $154 billion. Therefore, Coinbase had a far smaller July than what it managed on a monthly basis in Q2. That August is trending better than July is a small consolation, but it does appear that Coinbase will be a smaller business in Q3 than it was in Q1 or Q2.

If you were curious why Coinbase’s stock is not flying in the wake of its strong Q2 results, this is likely why. Of course, any serious investor in a crypto exchange is aware of how variable results can be in the sector. So a decrease after a few periods of strong results is not a huge lump to swallow.

Coinbase is worth $267.55 per share in after-hours trading as of the time of writing, off around three-quarters of a percent. That’s not even a haircut.

All told, Coinbase’s second quarter was excellent.

#blockchain, #coinbase, #cryptocurrency-exchange, #earnings, #tc

Jumia’s Q2 results show moderate growth, rising spend, and continued losses

African e-commerce giant Jumia today reported its second-quarter financial performance. In the wake of its earnings reports, Jumia’s shares climbed 3.38% to $21.99 per share with a market cap of $2.168 billion.

Before we get into the company’s results, Jumia historically reported in its financial data in Euros. This was the case until April 1, when the company swapped for the American dollar.  Jumia cites increases in cash balances from equity fundraising as the main reason backing this outcome. The company adds that although the Dollar will be used going forward, starting from Q2 2021, comparative numbers from previous quarters “have been modified to reflect the change in presentation currency.” That will help us keep all the math straight.

Now, back to business. In the second quarter of 2021, Jumia reported revenues of $40.2 million, up 4.6% on a year-over-year basis.

Wall Street was optimistic that Jumia would report revenue of $43.34 million, up from the $38.5 million recorded in Q2 2020. Although the company did not meet revenue expectations, it did surpass investor expectations of a loss worth $0.43 a share by reporting a more modest $0.41 per-share loss in the second quarter. For reference, Jumia lost $0.61 per share in the year-ago period.

While the African e-commerce company has shifted from first-party sales to a marketplace for third parties, its first-party revenue increased 7% year-over-year in the second quarter. Jumia’s marketplace revenue, on the other hand, grew a smaller 0.6% to $26.2 million.

The revenue mix-shift helped Jumia’s gross profit grow 4% to $26.8 million in the most recent quarter compared to its year-ago comparable. Gross profit after fulfillment expense also expanded 16.3% to $7.7 million.

Continued losses

While Jumia’s operating losses and adjusted EBITDA declined in Q1 2021, they increased this past quarter. Operating losses were $51.6 million in Q2 2021, up 24.7%, while adjusted EBITDA came in at -$41.6 million, worsening 15.1% compared to Q2 2020.

The sharp losses were driven in part by how the African e-commerce juggernaut spent in the quarter. Jumia’s sales and advertising expenses rose 115% to $17.1 million. In the year-ago quarter, the number was a far-smaller $7.9 million. The huge gain in sales and advertising spending may indicate that the company is back to its old method of executing aggressive advertising, which initially slowed during the pandemic. 

The company’s rising costs and declining profitability are not encouraging regarding its chances for near-term profitability. However, the company stressed long-term investments in its business in its earnings report that Jumia expects to leverage in the coming quarters and years. Given that Jumia’s shares rose following its earnings report, it appears that investors are at least amenable to the argument. Still, the company’s metrics paint a mixed picture of its efforts.

For instance, Jumia’s active customers only grew by 3.3% to 7 million in the second quarter, while orders grew by a stronger 12.8% to 7.6 million. In contrast, gross merchandise volume (GMV) fell 11% to $223.5 million in the second quarter.

Jumia’s falling GMV impacted the total payment volume (TPV) of its payment arm, JumiaPay, in the quarter. That figure fell 4% to $56.6 million, compared to the year-ago quarter.

That said, on other fronts, JumiaPay’s recent results are impressive. The payment service’s “on-platform penetration” as a portion of GMV grew to 23.5% in the second quarter. And transactions made on the platform grew 12.1% to 2.7 million — the fastest transaction growth rate Jumia has witnessed in the past four quarters, mostly supported by the company’s food delivery category.

In the space of five months, from October 2020 to February 2021, Jumia’s share price spiked over 700% to $65, mostly due to the pandemic increasing appetite for e-commerce stocks globally. But the company’s share price has dropped by more than 60% from those highs to a close at $21.27 last Friday.

Jumia closed its most recent quarter with $637.7 million in cash, which means that it has a good amount of runway ahead of itself to sort out growth and profitability.

#africa, #e-commerce, #earnings, #ecommerce, #finance, #food, #jumia, #retailers, #rocket-internet

The cost of Velodyne’s internal drama is starting to add up

Velodyne Lidar, the sensor company that went public a year ago when it merged with special purpose acquisition company Graf Industrial Corp., reported its second quarter earnings Thursday, results that show a company spending more to find new customers for its products while grappling with an increasingly expensive internal drama.

Just a few weeks ago, Velodyne’s CEO Anand Gopalan resigned, taking $8 million in equity compensation with him, according to the company’s second-quarter report. At the time of Gopalan’s resignation, the company restated its business outlook for 2021 revenue, noting that its guidance of between $77 million and $94 million remained unchanged.

Earlier in the year, founder David Hall was removed as chairman of the board and his wife, Marta Thoma Hall, lost her role of chief marketing officer following an investigation by the board into the couple for “inappropriate behavior.” The legal fees involved in this debacle set the company back $1.4 million this quarter, and $3.7 million for the first half of 2021, according to Velodyne CFO Drew Hamer.

The board’s fight with the Halls has escalated. In a May letter, David Hall blamed the SPAC, specifically the SPAC-appointed members of the combined company’s board, for its poor financial performance, and called for the resignation of Gopalan and two board members.

During a call with investors Thursday, Hamer also said general and administrative expenses are expected to increase by about 35% in 2021 due to increased public company and legal expenses, meaning the struggle is not over. From the first quarter to the second, there was already a 21% increase, from $17 million to $20.6 million.

The “general and administrative expenses” category falls under the company’s broader operating expenses, which were $84.8 million this quarter, about double last quarter’s spend. 

Rising legal costs at the company are only part of its accelerating cost profile. The company is also investing heavily in growth, namely in sales and marketing.

A large majority of operating expenses were spent on sales and marketing. Velodyne spent $47.2 million in the second quarter, which is up massively from $7.1 million in the first quarter.

On average, companies spend about 11.3% of their total revenue on marketing budgets, according to a 2020 CMO survey, though that is a broad metric. It’s important to note that the full impact of sales and marketing spend is never fully realized in the quarter in which that capital is put to work. In other words, we don’t know if Velodyne’s expanded Q2 sales and marketing spend has brought in more business.

The company’s revenue eased between the first and second quarters, falling from $17.7 million to $13.6 million. For a company investing so heavily in sales to see revenue decline is not encouraging, even if the bulk of results stemming from Q2 spend may not show up until the company’s third-quarter earnings report.

Velodyne is betting that its efforts will lead to accelerating sales in coming quarters. 

The company said it expects to make an additional $46 to $62 million revenue in the second half of the year due to an increase in demand for lidar products. While Q2’s total revenue was actually less than Q1’s, the company’s product-based revenue rose around 30%, which Hamer attributed to “renewed demand for lidar sensors from customers with delayed purchases due to the uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“Our pipeline continues to grow,” said Hamer. “We had 213 projects on August 1, up from 198 projects at May 1…Included in the signed and awarded pipeline are new ADAS multiyear agreements, which we expect will begin to ramp starting in 2026.”

Hamer estimated that through 2025, Velodyne has the opportunity for more than $1 billion in revenue from signed and awarded projects, plus a pipeline of projects that are not yet signed and awarded that could bring the company to $4.5 billion in potential revenue. 

At the end of April, Velodyne was selected by EV company Faraday Future as an exclusive lidar supplier for its flagship luxury electric car FF 91, which is due to be launched next year. Faraday’s cars would use the Velarray H800 lidar sensors to power their autonomous driving system. 

Velodyne has some other existing partnerships, but it faces steep competition in the automotive space.

Luminar, for example, has deals with major OEMs like Volvo and Toyota, and it recently bought one of its chip suppliers so that it wouldn’t have to be held up like everyone else in the industry, including Velodyne, by the semiconductor shortage. Hesai is also seeing some traction with customers like Lyft, Nuro, Bosch, Navya and Chinese robotaxi operators Baidu, WeRide and AutoX. 

Velodyne, which has long been the dominant supplier in the industry, has lost some customers more recently.

For instance, Ford, which had originally backed Velodyne, divested its stake in the company and placed its bets on Argo AI, which is supplying the automaker with its the autonomous vehicle technology. Argo had upped its game by drastically improving its in-house lidar sensor, meaning it would no longer need to rely on Velodyne. That had a ripple effect and impacted Veoneer, which had partnered with Velodyne to produce the lidar for Ford.

#adas, #argo-ai, #automotive, #autonomous-driving, #earnings, #ford, #lidar, #q2-earnings, #transportation, #velodyne

Fisker-Foxconn EV partnership ‘moving faster than expected,’ CEO Henrik Fisker says

U.S. electric automaker Fisker expects operating expenses to reach between $490 million and $530 million this year, a slight increase in its business outlook for the year that is driven by R&D spending on prototypes for its Ocean SUV, testing and validation of advanced technology, hiring and its “accelerating” partnership with Foxconn.

The company, which reported its second-quarter earnings Thursday after market close, raised its business outlook for expectations for key non-GAAP operating expenses and capital expenditures for the full year up from its previous guidance of $450 million to $510 million. The earnings report pointed to R&D spending on prototype activities in 2021 driven by testing and validation on advanced driver assistance systems, powertrain and user interface. The company also noted an increase in spending on in-house costs, such as virtual validation software tools, hiring and virtual and physical testing to account for recently tightened Euro NCAP and IIHS safety regulations.

Co-founder, CFO and COO Geeta Gupta Fisker added during an investor call that the company made a strategic decision to develop internal capabilities to test and validate, instead of relying solely on third parties.

Co-founder and CEO Henrik Fisker said in an interview Thursday its partnership with Foxconn, which is “moving faster than expected,” also is contributing to an increase in spending.

“We were really aligned,” Fisker said in an interview Thursday. “I mean it’s a very unique business deal because we are both investing into this program; it’s not like we just hired Foxconn to make a car.”

Fisker has two vehicle programs in the works. Its first electric vehicle, the Fisker Ocean SUV, will be assembled by automotive contract manufacturer Magna Steyr in Europe. The start of production is still on track to begin in November 2022, the company reiterated Thursday. Deliveries will begin in Europe and the United States in late 2022, with a plan to reach production capacity of more than 5,000 vehicles per month during 2023. Deliveries to customers in China are also expected to begin in 2023.

In May, Fisker signed an agreement with Foxconn, the Taiwanese company that assembles iPhones, to co-develop and manufacture a new electric vehicle. Henrik Fisker said the two companies moved on the design “fairly quickly,” and are now diving into the engineering and technical details that include working on a patent for a new way of opening a trunk and other technological innovations.

“We have accelerated really quite fast and we probably will have some early prototypes already by the end of this year,” he said.

The companies have also decided that this EV will be designed for the urban lifestyle.

“You can’t make a car for everybody,” he said. “You can’t make a car for a farmer and for somebody who lives in an apartment; those are two different vehicles, so we chose the urban lifestyle for this vehicle.”

Production on the Project PEAR car, which stands for Personal Electric Automotive Revolution, will be sold under the Fisker brand name in North America, Europe, China and India. Pre-production is expected begin in the U.S. by the end of 2023, and will then ramp up into the following year, Fisker said Thursday.

Henrik Fisker didn’t reveal the U.S. manufacturing location. He did make a recent visit to Foxconn’s manufacturing facility in Wisconsin, noting it was an “impressive” facility, as was the region’s supply chain. The final decision is Foxconn’s, Fisker noted. However, Fisker wants to produce the electric vehicle in a state that allows automakers to sell directly to customers. Wisconsin currently prohibits this practice.

“That’s going to be one of the main things that has to change for us to go to the store and sell our electric vehicle,” he noted.

Earnings results

Here are the basics from the company’s second-quarter earnings. Keep in mind two important factors: Fisker wasn’t publicly traded at this time last year, there are no year-over-year comparisons available yet; and this company is essentially pre-revenue, although they did bring in $27,000 from merchandise sales.

Fisker reported it generated $27,000 in revenue, a 22% bump up from the previous quarter. The automaker reported a net loss of $46.2 million, or $0.16 per share, compared to a net loss of $176.8 million in the previous quarter. That large net loss in the first quarter comes from changes in how the SEC treated non-cash items and resulted in warrants liability of $138 million in Q1. The public warrants are now retired and the company says will no longer have these impacts on future earnings.

Loss from operations were $53.1 million in the second quarter compared to a loss of $33 million in the first quarter. Importantly, the company has held onto its cash using what it describes as an “asset light” approach, which means it’s not building a factory, instead relying on partners. Cash and cash equivalents were $962 million as of the quarter ended June 30, slightly lower than the $985.1 million in the first quarter.

#automotive, #earnings, #electric-vehicles, #fisker, #transportation

Uber shares fall despite revenue beat as its core operations continue to lose money

Today after the bell U.S. ride-hailing giant Uber reported its second-quarter financial results. The company’s numbers come a day after its domestic rival, Lyft, shared its own Q2 earnings.

Notably while Lyft managed to generate positive adjusted EBITDA in the second quarter, Uber did not. However, Uber did generate positive net income of $1.14 billion in the quarter thanks to its investments in other companies like Didi and Aurora Innovation.

From the top, Uber’s gross bookings totaled $21.9 billion in the second quarter, up 114% compared to the year-ago period. That gross platform spend resulted in $3.93 billion in revenues at Uber, up 105% from the company’s $1.91 billion Q2 2020 results.

Its Q2 performance was enough to keep Uber on track towards its pre-tax profitability goal, with the company reiterating that it will reach adjusted EBITDA profitability by the fourth quarter, per its earnings release.

Analysts had expected the company to post revenues of $3.74 billion, and earnings per share of -$0.51, per data collected by Yahoo Finance. Shares of Uber are off 5.4% in after-hours trading, despite the company’s earnings per share besting analyst expectations.

Digging into the company’s individual business operations, in gross bookings terms, Uber’s ride business posted the largest growth in Q2 2021, growing 184% from its year-ago result to $8.84 billion. Delivery, a larger chunk of gross bookings at the company, grew 85% in Q2 2021 to $12.91 billion compared to its year-ago comparable.

Uber derives less revenue per dollar of delivery gross bookings than it does in ride-hailing, with its two businesses generating $1.96 billion and $1.62 billion in revenues, respectively, despite their massive differential in total consumer spend.

Freight, Uber’s smallest named division in revenue terms, grew 64% to $348 million. Despite its small size, Uber has been expanding the division and making strategic acquisitions and partnerships as a means to help the segment to break even on an Adjusted EBITDA basis by the end of 2022.

Last month, Uber Freight acquired Transplace for about $2.25 billion from private equity group TPG Capital. The deal involved $750 million in Uber stock with the remainder in cash.

Uber’s two key businesses were not profitable in aggregate, with the company’s ride-hailing and delivery businesses not managing to save the company from negative adjusted profits. However, Uber’s rides business did manage to post $179 million in positive adjusted EBITDA on its own — down from the company’s Q1 2021 result — while the company’s delivery business posted another quarter of negative adjusted profits, turning in -$161 million worth of adjusted EBITDA.

Recall that Uber’s ride-hailing adjusted EBITDA pales in comparison to the company’s unallocated expenses; Uber’s adjusted EBITDA for the second quarter of 2021 came to -$509 million, an improvement of 39% compared to the year-ago period, but still a long way from breakeven.

But Uber’s quarter had a highlight to share in the form of other income. Uber’s operating loss of $1.19 billion was more than ameliorated by the company earning $1.93 billion in non-operating income. That was mostly derived from $1.91 billion in unrealized gains on “debt and equity securities,” including “a $1.4 billion unrealized gain on [its] Didi investment and a $471 million unrealized gain on [its] Aurora Investments recognized in the second quarter of 2021.”

Didi went public in the second quarter.

Turning to geographic results, Uber’s fastest recovery came in the APAC region, where revenue soared 227% from $217 million in the year-ago quarter to $709 million in the company’s most recent three-month period. EMEA came in second, in growth terms, expanding top line 159% from $358 million to $929 million over the same time frame. The United States and Canada posted revenue growth of 76% from $1.13 billion to $1.98 billion, and Latin America managed a more modest 44% rebound in the quarter.

#earnings, #tc, #transportation, #uber

Cloud infrastructure market kept growing in Q2 reaching $42B

It’s often said in baseball that a prospect has a high ceiling, reflecting the tremendous potential of a young player with plenty of room to get better. The same could be said for the cloud infrastructure market, which just keeps growing with little sign of slowing down any time soon. The market hit $42 billion in total revenue with all major vendors reporting, up $2 billion from Q1.

Synergy Research reports that the revenue grew at a speedy 39% clip, the fourth consecutive quarter that it has increased. AWS led the way per usual, but Microsoft continued growing at a rapid pace and Google also kept the momentum going.

AWS continues to defy market logic, actually increasing growth by 5% over the previous quarter at 37%, an amazing feat for a company with the market maturity of AWS. That accounted for $14.81 billion in revenue for Amazon’s cloud division, putting it close to a $60 billion run rate, good for a market leading 33% share. While that share has remained fairly steady for a number of years, the revenue continues to grow as the market pie grows ever larger.

Microsoft grew even faster at 51%, and while Microsoft cloud infrastructure data isn’t always easy to nail down, with 20% of market share according to Synergy Research, that puts it at $8.4 billion as it continues to push upward with revenue up from $7.8 billion last quarter.

Google too continued its slow and steady progress under the leadership of Thomas Kurian, leading the growth numbers with a 54% increase in cloud revenue in Q2 on revenue of $4.2 billion, good for 10% market share, the first time Google Cloud has reached double figures in Synergy’s quarterly tracking data. That’s up from $3.5 billion last quarter.

Synergy Research cloud infrastructure market share chart.

Image Credits: Synergy Research

After the Big 3, Alibaba held steady over Q1 at 6% (but will only report this week) with IBM falling a point from Q1 to 4% as Big Blue continues to struggle in pure infrastructure as it makes the transition to more of a hybrid cloud management player.

John Dinsdale, chief analyst at Synergy, says that the big three are spending big to help fuel this growth. “Amazon, Microsoft and Google in aggregate are typically investing over $25 billion in capex per quarter, much of which is going towards building and equipping their fleet of over 340 hyperscale data centers,” he said in a statement.

Meanwhile Canalys had similar numbers, but saw the overall market slightly higher at $47 billion. Their market share broke down to Amazon with 31%, Microsoft with 22% and Google with 8% of that total number.

Canalys analyst Blake Murray says that part of the reason companies are shifting workloads to the clouds is to help achieve environmental sustainability goals as the cloud vendors are working toward using more renewable energy to run their massive data centers.

“The best practices and technology utilized by these companies will filter to the rest of the industry, while customers will increasingly use cloud services to relieve some of their environmental responsibilities and meet sustainability goals,” Murray said in a statement.

Regardless of whether companies are moving to the cloud to get out of the data center business or because they hope to piggyback on the sustainability efforts of the big 3, companies are continuing a steady march to the cloud. With some estimates of worldwide cloud usage at around 25%, the potential for continued growth remains strong, especially with many markets still untapped outside the U.S.

That bodes well for the big three and for other smaller operators who can find a way to tap into slices of market share that add up to big revenue. “There remains a wealth of opportunity for smaller, more focused cloud providers, but it can be hard to look away from the eye-popping numbers coming out of the big three,” Dinsdale said.

In fact, it’s hard to see the ceiling for these companies any time in the foreseeable future.

#aws, #canalys, #cloud, #cloud-infrastructure-market-share, #earnings, #enterprise, #google, #microsoft, #synergy-research, #tc

Growth is not enough

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

We were a smaller team this week, with Natasha and Alex together with Grace and Chris to sort through a week that brought together both this quarter’s earnings cycle, and the Q3 IPO rush. So, it was just a little busy!

Before we get to topics, however, a note that we are having a lot of fun recording these live on Twitter Spaces. We’ve found a hacky way to capture local audio and also share the chats live. So, hit us up on Twitter so you can hang out with us. It’s fun – and we may even bring you up on stage to play guest host.

Ok, now, to the Great List of Subjects:

Equity drops every Monday at 7:00 a.m. PDT, Wednesday, and Friday morning at 7:00 a.m. PDT, so subscribe to us on Apple PodcastsOvercastSpotify and all the casts.

#alphabet, #ascap, #class, #contentful, #earnings, #electric-vehicles, #equity, #equity-podcast, #fundings-exits, #lordstown-motors, #microsoft, #oova, #peppy, #redwood-materials, #robinhood, #robinhood-ipo, #shopify, #softbank, #squire, #startups, #tesla, #tiger-global

Forget “App Tracking Transparency”: Facebook is enjoying more ad revenue than ever

Faebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Faebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. (credit: Facebook)

For months, Apple and Facebook waged a PR war (with threats of a legal one) over App Tracking Transparency, a change in recent versions of the iPhone’s iOS software that will often limit how advertising-focused apps and companies can monetize iPhone users.

Facebook’s original public predictions about App Tracking Transparency’s effect were apocalyptic. But even though App Tracking Transparency took effect during Facebook’s most recent quarter (Q2 of 2021), the company still posted huge ad revenue growth.

Facebook’s revenue, which is largely driven by the kinds of advertising that Apple’s iOS change undermines, grew 56 percent year-over-year in Q2, beating investor expectations. The company had 1.9 billion daily active users and 2.9 billion monthly active users. It earned $10.12 of revenue per user, on average.

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#advertising, #app-tracking-transparency, #apple, #earnings, #facebook, #ios, #q2-2021, #tech

Facebook warns of ‘headwinds’ to its ad business from regulators and Apple

Facebook posted its second quarter earnings Wednesday, beating expectations with $29 billion in revenue.

The world’s biggest social media company was expected to report $27.8 billion in revenue for the quarter, a 50 percent increase from the same period in 2020. Facebook reported earnings per share of $3.61, which also bested expectations.

In the first financial period to really reflect a return to quasi-economic normalcy after a very online pandemic year, Facebook met user growth expectations. At the end of March, Facebook boasted 2.85 billion monthly active users across its network of apps. At the end of its second quarter, Facebook reported 2.9 billion monthly active users, roughly what was expected.

The company’s shares opened at $375 on Wednesday morning and were down to $360 in a dip following the earnings report.

In spite of a strong quarter, Facebook is warning of change ahead — namely impacts to its massive ad business, which generated $28.5 billion out of the company’s $29 billion this quarter. The company specifically named privacy-focused updates to Apple’s mobile operating system as a threat to its business.

“We continue to expect increased ad targeting headwinds in 2021 from regulatory and platform changes, notably the recent iOS updates, which we expect to have a greater impact in the third quarter compared to the second quarter,” the company stated its investor report outlook.

 

No matter what Facebook planned to report Wednesday, the company is a financial beast. Bad press and user mistrust in the West haven’t done much to hurt its bottom line and the company’s ad business is looking as dominant as ever. Short of meaningful antitrust reform in the U.S. or a surging competitor, there’s little to stand in Facebook’s way. The former might still be a long shot given partisan gridlock in Congress, even with the White House involved, but Facebook is finally facing a threat from the latter.

For years, it’s been difficult to imagine a social media platform emerging as a proper rival to the company, given Facebook’s market dominance and nasty habit of acquiring competitors or brazenly copying their innovations, but it’s clear that TikTok is turning into just that. YouTube is huge, but the platforms matured in parallel and co-exist, offering complementary experiences.

TikTok hit 700 million monthly active users in July 2020 and surpassed three billions global downloads earlier this month, becoming the only non-Facebook owned app to do so, according to data from Sensor Tower. If the famously addictive short form video app can successfully siphon off some of the long hours that young users spend on Instagram and Facebook’s other platforms and make itself a cozy home for brands in the process, the big blue giant out of Menlo Park might finally have something to lose sleep over.

#computing, #congress, #earnings, #facebook, #facebook-stories, #instagram, #messenger, #mobile-applications, #operating-systems, #sensor-tower, #social, #social-media, #software, #tc, #united-states, #whatsapp, #white-house

Shopify’s Q2 results beat estimates as e-commerce shines

Canadian e-commerce juggernaut Shopify this morning reported its second-quarter financial performance. Like Microsoft and Apple in the wake of their after-hours earnings reports, its shares are having a muted reaction to the better-than-expected results.

In the second quarter of 2021, Shopify reported revenues of $1.12 billion, up 57% on a year-over-year basis. The company’s subscription products grew 70% to $334.2 million, while its volume-driven merchant services drove their own top line up 52% to $785.2 million.

Investors had expected Shopify to report revenue of $1.05 billion.

Shopify also posted an enormous second-quarter profit. Indeed, from its $1.12 billion in total revenues, Shopify managed to generate $879.1 million in GAAP net income. How? The outsized profit came in part thanks to $778 million in unrealized gains related to equity investments. But even with those gains filtered out, Shopify’s adjusted net income of $284.6 million more than doubled its year-ago Q2 result of $129.4 million. Shopify’s earnings per share sans unrealized gains came to $2.24, far ahead of an expected 97 cents.

After reporting those results, Shopify shares are up less than a point.

In light of somewhat muted reactions to Big Tech earnings surpassing expectations, it’s increasingly clear that investors were anticipating that leading tech companies would trounce expectations in the second quarter; their earnings beats were largely priced-in ahead of the individual reports.

The rest of Shopify’s quarter is a series of huge figures. In the second three-month period of 2021, the company posted gross merchandise volume (GMV) of $42.2 billion, up 40% compared to the year-ago period. That was more than a billion dollars ahead of expectations. And the company’s monthly recurring revenue (MRR) grew 67% to $95.1 million in the quarter. That’s quick.

Shopify is priced like the growth will continue. Using its Q2 revenue result to generate an annual run rate for the firm, Shopify is currently valued at around 43x its present top line. That’s aggressive for a company that generates the minority of its revenues from recurring software fees, an investor favorite. Instead, investors seem content to pay what is effectively top dollar for the company’s blend of GMV-based service revenues and more traditional software incomes.

Consider the public markets bullish on the continued pace of e-commerce growth.

It will be interesting to see how BigCommerce, a Shopify competitor and fellow public company, performs when it reports earnings in early August. Shares of BigCommerce are up more than 3% today in wake of Shopify’s results. Ironic given Shopify’s relaxed market reaction to its own results? Sure, but who said the public markets are fair?

#apple, #bigcommerce, #companies, #e-commerce, #earnings, #ecommerce, #microsoft, #publishing, #shopify, #tc, #web-applications

Spotify’s podcast ad revenue jumps 627% in Q2

In the minutes before its quarterly earnings call this morning, Spotify played advertisements for its Originals & Exclusives, like the true crime show “Deathbed Confessions,” and the sex and relationships podcast “Call Her Daddy,” which Spotify recently acquired in a deal worth $60 million. Sure, it’s kind of hilarious to hear a recording of host Alex Cooper’s voice say, “Hey, daddy gang!” as investors log in to an 8 AM call, but the subtext rang clear: Spotify is serious about growing its podcast business.

Given how many podcasting companies Spotify has acquired over the past few years, it would be concerning if there hadn’t been significant growth in this realm. Among Spotify users who already listen to podcasts, podcast listening increased 30% year over year, with total hours consumed up 95%. Meanwhile, podcast ad revenue increased by 627%, which out-performed expectations. Spotify attributes this success to a triple-digit year over year gain at its in-house studios (The Ringer, Parcast, Spotify Studios, and Gimlet), and exclusive deals with “The Joe Rogan Experience” and the Obamas’ Higher Ground studio. Spotify also referenced its November acquisition of Megaphone, a podcast hosting and ad company.

“The continued out-performance is is currently limited only by the availability of our inventory, which is something we’re actively solving for,” said CEO Daniel Ek. “The days of our ad business accounting for less than 10% of our total revenue are behind us, and going forward, I expect ads to be a substantial part of our revenue mix.”

Image Credits: Spotify

In April, Spotify launched paid podcast subscriptions — through Anchor, the podcast host that it bought in 2019, creators can choose to certain content behind a paywall. Apple launched a similar feature too, but it’s still too early to know how these subscription services will impact listeners and creators. However, Spotify did share a bit more information about its Audience Network, an audio ad marketplace. Since its rollout in April, Spotify’s “monetizable podcast inventory” tripled. Spotify has also seen a “meaningful” increase in unique advertisers and a “double-digit lift” in CPMs (cost per thousand ad impressions), but didn’t provide specific figures.

Still, the more power a platform like Spotify has over the podcasting industry, the fewer options creators will have for monetization — already, the ubiquity of streaming platforms has taken a toll on musicians, who are working together to demand better compensation from Spotify. The Justice at Spotify movement points out that on average, artists get $0.0038 per stream of a song, which means that a song needs to be streamed 263 times to make a single dollar. Spotify has continued to grow during the pandemic, but since live shows are musicians’ best way to make money in the age of streaming, artists have struggled while it’s unsafe to go on tour.

On this morning’s earnings call, Ek pointed to live performances on Greenroom, Spotify’s Clubhouse clone, as a potential way for musicians to increase revenue. In the past quarter, Spotify has tested live concerts as an income stream, partnering with artists like The Black Keys. Still, smaller artists might not trust the platform given its refusal to make streaming itself a more viable way to get paid for their work.

“Live is a meaningful thing for many of our creators, and it’s something that we’re excited about,” said Ek, adding that Spotify saw positive results from its digital live events thus far. “We want to provide as many opportunities for creators to create more ways to turn a listen into a fan, and turn fans into super fans, and increase the monetization for those creators.”

Though Spotify missed its target for monthly active users (MAUs) in Q2, other key metrics trended upward, like paid subscriber growth and revenue. The platform attributes this road bump in MAU growth to the lingering impact of COVID-19, as well as an issue Spotify had with its third-party email verification system.

“In full disclosure, this was an issue on our end,” said CFO Paul Vogel. “The estimate right now was that it was about 1 to 2 million of MAU growth that was impacted by the friction created by this email verification change. It’s since been corrected and should not be an impact in Q3.”

Of Spotify’s 365 million MAUs, 165 million (about 42.5%) are paid subscribers — that’s still far beyond its next biggest competitor, Apple Music, which had 60 million subscribers in 2019, but hasn’t released updated figures since.

#apple-music, #apps, #ceo, #cfo, #clubhouse, #daniel-ek, #earnings, #entertainment, #joe-rogan, #megaphone, #parcast, #podcast, #podcasting, #software, #spotify, #streaming-media, #subscription-services, #technology

Apple reports a 50% year-over-year jump in iPhone sales

Enormous, circular complex surrounded by suburban sprawl.

Enlarge / The Apple Park campus stands in this aerial photograph taken above Cupertino in October 2019. (credit: Sam Hall/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

In what is usually one of its slowest growth quarters in a given year, Apple today reported a nearly 50 percent year-over-year increase in iPhone sales, among other positive numbers that beat analyst expectations. The numbers were published today as part of Apple’s quarterly earnings report.

Overall, Apple saw $81.41 billion in revenue in Q3 of 2021, up 36 percent year-over-year. iPhone revenue was $39.57 billion (up 49.78 percent), and services raked in $17.48 billion (up 33 percent).

The Mac and iPad also grew, albeit by a smaller amount. The Mac generated $8.24 billion, up 16 percent over last year, while the iPad came in at $7.37 billion and 12 percent.

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#apple, #apple-earnings, #earnings, #investors, #iphone, #q1-2021, #tech

iPhone sales fuel Apple’s Wall Street-beating Q3

Another excellent quarter for Apple, as the company posted $81.4 billion in revenue. That’s a 36% year-over-year jump for the company, besting Wall Street estimates of $73.3 billion by a considerable margin.

“Our record June quarter operating performance included new revenue records in each of our geographic segments, double-digit growth in each of our product categories, and a new all-time high for our installed base of active devices,” CFO Luca Maestri said in a release. “We generated $21 billion of operating cash flow, returned nearly $29 billion to our shareholders during the quarter, and continued to make significant investments across our business to support our long-term growth plans.”

Some strong figures for the company all around here, but it was iPhone sales and subscription services that continued to lead the way — a familiar story for anyone who’s followed the company the last several quarters.

iPhone sales increased from $26 billion to $39.5 billion, on the continued strength of the company’s long-waited push into linewide 5G, while services rose from $13.1 billion to $17.5 billion for the quarter. Apple has continued to grow its services offerings, which now includes Music, TV+, iCloud, Arcade, News+ and Fitness+. The company clearly sees the subscription portfolio as the future of its revenue model.

Greater China proved a strong market for the company in the third fiscal quarter. The company posted $14.76 billion in sales for the region, a more than 50% increase over the same time last year. The Americas region, meanwhile, rose from $ 27 billion to $35.89.

In the earnings report, CEO Tim Cook made reference to pandemic-related issues, which highlighting broader societal focuses for the company.

“This quarter, our teams built on a period of unmatched innovation by sharing powerful new products with our users, at a time when using technology to connect people everywhere has never been more important,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We’re continuing to press forward in our work to infuse everything we make with the values that define us — by inspiring a new generation of developers to learn to code, moving closer to our 2030 environment goal, and engaging in the urgent work of building a more equitable future.

The company once again declined to offer guidance, owing to uncertainties during the pandemic. On a followup call with investors, however, Maestri noted, “We expect revenue growth to be lower than our June Quarter.” The CFO cited various issues including foreign exchange rates with the U.S. dollar, a slow down in the growth rate of services and continued supply chain issues for its hardware offerings.

 

#apple, #apps, #earnings, #finance, #luca-maestri, #tim-cook

Alphabet crushes Q2 earnings estimates as Google Cloud cuts losses, grows 54%

Today after the bell amidst a deluge of major technology company earnings reports, Alphabet reported its own second-quarter performance. The search-and-services company posted revenues of $61.9 billion in the June 30, 2021 quarter, net income of $18.5 billion, and earnings per share of $27.26. Those figures work out to top-line growth of 62%, and net income expansion of 166%. Naturally Google is currently being compared to pandemic-impacted Q2 2020 results, but its gains are noteworthy regardless.

The Android-maker’s results trounced expectations, with the street only expecting Google’s parent company to post $56 billion in total top line and $19.14 in earnings per share. Notably Alphabet shares are up around a single percentage point after hours, mirroring a similarly muted market reaction to better than officially anticipated earnings results from Microsoft.

Alphabet is a company with a number of moving parts, so let’s unpack the numbers a little bit.

YouTube’s reported revenue of $7 billion is up 84% year over year. This feels like a strong result, frankly, given YouTube’s age. That said, your humble servant wonders how much heavier the ad load can get on YouTube before a rival service steals some of its oxygen. In a separate note, YouTube disclosed that its YouTube Shorts product has “surpassed 15 billion global daily views,” up 131% from the 6.5 billion global daily views that it detailed in March. (Everyone wants to eat TikTok, it seems.)

Google Cloud reported revenue of $4.6 billion, up 54% year over year. That growth rate is slightly above what Microsoft posted for its Azure cloud unit. However, as the Microsoft effort is considered to be larger than Google’s own in revenue terms, investors might have anticipated a larger growth ∆ than what Mountain View just detailed. Google Cloud cut its operating loss from $1.4 billion in the year-ago Q2 to a far more modest $591 million deficit in its most recent quarter. That’s honestly rather good.

On the Other Bets side of things, revenues rose! But so did losses. The skunkworks group at Alphabet posted $192 million in revenue, up from $148 million in the year-ago period. But the collection of trials and errors lost $1.4 billion in the quarter, up from $1.1 billion in the corresponding year-ago period.

Naturally with operating income of $19.4 billion inclusive of its Other Bets cost center, Alphabet can well afford to continue spending on what projects that may in time generate material future revenues.

Still, everything at Alphabet that is not Google’s core offerings (search, YouTube, etc.) lost money in the quarter:

Image Credits: Alphabet

The real story, however, is in the epic gains that Alphabet posted in operating income from Q2 2020 to Q2 2021. Just look at that acceleration in operating income! It’s a somewhat befuddling result in terms of its quality.

What else to take note of? Google’s share repurchase program has been modified some, but not in a manner that should impact regular investors. So we can leave Alphabet’s quarter content that the company did well enough to defend its market cap of just over $1.75 trillion, even if it did not manage to add too much to the figure in after-hours trading thus far.

It’s a great time to be a huge tech company.

#alphabet, #android, #earnings, #google, #microsoft, #tc, #youtube

Microsoft bests earnings estimates as Azure posts 51% growth; shares fall

Today after the bell, Microsoft reported its fiscal Q4 2021 earnings, the period corresponding to the second calendar quarter of this year. Microsoft posted revenues of $46.2 billion in the period, along with net income of $16.5 billion and earnings per share of $2.17. The company’s revenues grew by 21% compared to the year-ago quarter, while its net income expanded by a more toothsome 47% over the same time frame.

The company’s results beat expectations, which Yahoo Finance reports were revenues of $44.1 billion and earnings per share of $1.90. Shares of the software giant fell after the news, perhaps due to the company’s results missing so-called whisper numbers; that Microsoft has traded at or near all-time highs in recent sessions puts the current 3% after-hours drop into context. Tech shares were broadly weaker in regular trading today, a session in which Microsoft shed just under 1% of its worth.

Microsoft is so large a company that its top-level results are hardly clear, so let’s dig in a little more.

First up, Azure, Microsoft’s cloud computing platform, posted 51% revenue growth in the quarter compared to the corresponding year-ago quarter, a figure that would dip to 45% if one was to remove currency fluctuations, according to the company. The 51% figure, per initial analysis, is the company’s best Azure growth result since its fiscal Q3 2020 quarter, or the first calendar quarter of last year.

From that perspective, it’s hard to fault Azure’s growth over the last three months.

Picking through the rest of the company’s results, we can rank its three main divisions’ revenue growth results as follows:

  • Intelligent Cloud: 30% growth, a figure driven in part by Azure’s growth;
  • Productivity and Business Processes: 21% growth, led by LinkedIn (46% growth), and the Dynamics 365 CRM product (49% growth);
  • More Personal Computing: 9% growth, led by search growth (53%, excluding traffic acquisition costs)

The weaker spots in the larger Redmond revenue review are not hard to spot. Office Consumer revenue expanded by 18%, a figure that feels somewhat modest; Windows OEM revenue slipped by 3%; and Surface revenue fell 20%.

But those lowlights were not enough to derail the company’s aggregate growth picture and titanic profitability. How profitable is Satya Nadella’s company? Microsoft spent $10.4 billion on share buybacks and dividends in its most recent quarter. That’s a somewhat confusing amount of money, frankly. And at this point, we’re a bit flummoxed why Microsoft is buying back shares. Its market capitalization is a bit more than $2 trillion, implying that at best the company can gently chip away at its share count over time at huge expense. Surely there is a better use for its cash?

Regardless, the company’s results indicate that the recent run of big technology companies posting impressively large and lucrative results is not behind us. That may help provide investor confidence for technology companies more broadly. Which, you know, would not be a bad thing for startups.

#azure, #cloud-computing, #earnings, #linkedin, #microsoft, #satya-nadella

Once a buzzword, digital transformation is reshaping markets

The notion of digital transformation evolved from a buzzword joke to a critical and accelerating fact during the COVID-19 pandemic. The changes wrought by a global shift to remote work and schooling are myriad, but in the business realm they have yielded a change in corporate behavior and consumer expectation — changes that showed up in a bushel of earnings reports this week.

TechCrunch may tend to have a private-company focus, but we do keep tabs on public companies in the tech world as they often provide hints, notes and other pointers on how startups may be faring. In this case, however, we’re working in reverse; startups have told us for several quarters now that their markets are picking up momentum as customers shake up their buying behavior with a distinct advantage for companies helping customers move into the digital realm. And public company results are now confirming the startups’ perspective.

The accelerating digital transformation is real, and we have the data to support the point.

What follows is a digest of notes concerning the recent earnings results from Box, Sprout Social, Yext, Snowflake and Salesforce. We’ll approach each in micro to save time, but as always there’s more digging to be done if you have time. Let’s go!

Enterprise earnings go up

Kicking off with Yext, the company beat expectations in its most recent quarter. Today its shares are up 18%. And a call with the company’s CEO Howard Lerman underscored our general thesis regarding the digital transformation’s acceleration.

In brief, Yext’s evolution from a company that plugged corporate information into external search engines to building and selling search tech itself has been resonating in the market. Why? Lerman explained that consumers more and more expect digital service in response to their questions — “who wants to call a 1-800 number,” he asked rhetorically — which is forcing companies to rethink the way they handle customer inquiries.

In turn, those companies are looking to companies like Yext that offer technology to better answer customer queries in a digital format. It’s customer-friendly, and could save companies money as call centers are expensive. A change in behavior accelerated by the pandemic is forcing companies to adapt, driving their purchase of more digital technologies like this.

It’s proof that a transformation doesn’t have to be dramatic to have pretty strong impacts on how corporations buy and sell online.

#box, #cloud, #earnings, #ec-enterprise-applications, #enterprise, #saas, #salesforce, #snowflake, #sprout-social, #yext

Box beats expectations, raises guidance as it looks for a comeback

Box executives have been dealing with activist investor Starboard Value over the last year, along with fighting through the pandemic like the rest of us. Today the company reported earnings for the first quarter of its fiscal 2022. Overall, it was a good quarter for the cloud content management company.

The firm reported revenue of $202.4 million up 10% compared to its year-ago result, numbers that beat Box projections of between $200 million to $201 million. Yahoo Finance reports the analyst consensus was $200.5 million, so the company also bested street expectations.

The company has faced strong headwinds the past year, in spite of a climate that has been generally favorable to cloud companies like Box. A report like this was badly needed by the company as it faces a board fight with Starboard over its direction and leadership.

Company co-founder and CEO Aaron Levie is hoping this report will mark the beginning of a positive trend. “I think you’ve got a better economic climate right now for IT investment. And then secondarily, I think the trends of hybrid work, and the sort of long term trends of digital transformation are very much supportive of our strategy,” he told TechCrunch in a post-earnings interview.

While Box acquired e-signature startup SignRequest in February, it won’t actually be incorporating that functionality into the platform until this summer. Levie said that what’s been driving the modest revenue growth is Box Shield, the company’s content security product and the platform tools, which enable customers to customize workflows and build applications on top of Box.

The company is also seeing success with large accounts. Levie says that he saw the number of customers spending more than $100,000 with it grow by nearly 50% compared to the year-ago quarter. One of Box’s growth strategies has been to expand the platform and then upsell additional platform services over time, and those numbers suggest that the effort is working.

While Levie was keeping his M&A cards close to the vest, he did say if the right opportunity came along to fuel additional growth through acquisition, he would definitely give strong consideration to further inorganic growth. “We’re going to continue to be very thoughtful on M&A. So we will only do M&A that we think is attractive in terms of price and the ability to accelerate our roadmap, or the ability to get into a part of a market that we’re not currently in,” Levie said.

A closer look at the financials

Box managed modest growth acceleration for the quarter, existing only if we consider the company’s results on a sequential basis. In simpler terms, Box’s newly reported 10% growth in the first quarter of its fiscal 2022 was better than the 8% growth it earned during the fourth quarter of its fiscal 2021, but worse than the 13% growth it managed in its year-ago Q1.

With Box, however, instead of judging it by normal rules, we’re hunting in its numbers each quarter for signs of promised acceleration. By that standard, Box met its own goals.

How did investors react? Shares of the company were mixed after-hours, including a sharp dip and recovery in the value of its equity. The street appears to be confused by the results, weighing the report and working out whether its moderately accelerating growth is sufficiently enticing to warrant holding onto its equity, or more perversely if its growth is not expansive enough to fend off external parties hunting for more dramatic changes at the firm.

Sticking to a high-level view of Box’s results, apart from its growth numbers Box has done a good job shaking fluff out of its operations. The company’s operating margins (GAAP and not) both improved, and cash generation also picked up.

Perhap most importantly, Box raised its guidance from “the range of $840 million to $848 million” to “$845 to $853 million.” Is that a lot? No. It’s +$5 million to both the lower and upper-bounds of its targets. But if you squint, the company’s Q4 to Q1 revenue acceleration, and upgraded guidance could be an early indicator of a return to form.

Levie admitted that 2020 was a tough year for Box. “Obviously, last year was a complicated year in terms of the macro environment, the pandemic, just lots of different variables to deal with…” he said. But the CEO continues to think that his organization is set up for future growth.

Will Box manage to perform well enough to keep activist shareholders content? Levie thinks if he can string together more quarters like this one, he can keep Starboard at bay. “I think when you look at the next three quarters, the ability to guide up on revenue, the ability to guide up on profitability. We think it’s a very very strong earnings report and we think it shows a lot of the momentum in the business that we have right now.”

#aaron-levie, #box, #cloud, #cloud-content-management, #earnings, #enterprise, #saas, #starboard-value, #tc

Vizio TV buyers are becoming the product Vizio sells, not just its customers

Promotional image for widescreen television set.

Enlarge / Vizio’s 65-inch 4K OLED TV. (credit: Vizio)

Over the past several years, TV-maker Vizio has achieved a reputation among home theater enthusiasts as the company that makes TVs that provide superior picture quality relative to their cost. While the most expensive TVs from Samsung and LG beat Vizio’s in quality assessment by reviewers, Vizio is widely regarded as one of the best bang-for-buck brands.

But for consumers, those competitive prices may come with a downside: becoming subject to targeted advertising and monetized personal data collection. As reported previously on Engadget, Vizio just posted its first public earnings report, wherein it revealed that profits from the part of its business that is built around collecting and selling user data as well as targeting advertising at users totaled $38.4 million in the quarter.

That’s less than the $48.2 million of profit generated by device sales in the same quarter, but data and advertising profits grew significantly year-over-year while actual device sales grew comparatively slowly. These digital products are still nowhere close to device sales in total revenue, however; the data and ad-related business unit (dubbed Platform+) added up to only 7.2 percent of global revenue.

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#advertising, #data, #earnings, #tech, #tv, #vizio

Jumia’s Q1 earnings report continues to show falling losses, slow growth

African e-commerce giant Jumia today shared its earnings for the first quarter of 2021 that ended in March. While its customer count grew, a drop in the company’s revenues spoke to the fact that it is still reeling from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Most areas in Africa where Jumia operates have lifted their lockdown restrictions, but some countries like Morocco and Kenya still have curfews. Jumia said while these measures didn’t lead to meaningful changes in consumer behavior, its supply and logistics chain — especially for its food delivery business JumiaFood — was disrupted.

Jumia, which raised more than $570 million over the past six months to strengthen its balance sheet, posted first-quarter revenues of €27.4 million. This is a 6% drop from the €29.3 million that it reported in Q1 2020. Its operating loss for Q1 2021 came to €33.7 million, while its more forgiving adjusted EBITDA loss stood at €27.0 million. The two numbers fell by 23% and 24%, respectively, on a year-over-year basis as the company continues its slow march toward profitability.

Jumia has never turned a profit, but its co-CEOs Jeremy Hodara and Sacha Poignonnec have made it clear in the past that the company wants that to change. It was also a point of reference in their investor comments today.

“Our first-quarter results reflect solid progress towards profitability. The drivers remain consistent: selective and disciplined usage growth, gradual monetization, and continued cost discipline. The first quarter of 2021 was the sixth consecutive quarter of positive gross profit after fulfillment expense, which reached €6.2 million, more than doubling year-over-year, while Adjusted EBITDA loss contracted by 24% year-over-year, reaching €27.0 million,” they said in a statement.

In addition to falling losses, Jumia had other positive metrics to share. The giant e-tailer saw its active customer base grow 7% year-over-year to 6.9 million. And orders also increased by 3% to 6.6 million, a reversal of the declining trend observed over the preceding two quarters. However, the total worth of goods sold via Jumia this quarter (GMV) was just €165.0 million, a 13% decrease from the €189.6 million it recorded in Q1 2020.

The company’s gross profit also reached €20.4 million in 2020, representing a year-over-year gain of 11% from €18.4 million in Q1 2020.

Jumia cited two reasons for this drop. One was currency devaluation of Nigeria’s naira, Egypt’s pound and Kenya’s shilling against the euro, the currency in which it reports. According to the company, the trio dropped 15%, 9% and 19%, respectively, against the euro in Q1 2021. And second, the company’s best-performing product category (phones and electronics) did poorly. In Q1 2020, those items accounted for 45% of its GMV volume, which fell to 37% this quarter.

JumiaPay, the payments arm of the company, continued to post modest growth. This time last year the product processed 2.3 million transactions worth €35.5 million. In Q1 2021, JumiaPay transactions rose 6.7%, to 2.4 million transactions on a year-on-year basis. The recent quarter’s total payment volume also grew 21% to €42.9 million.

Per the report, Jumia has broadened the capabilities of its payment product. It now offers SMEs on the continent access to short-term credit by leveraging business and transactional data of its sellers to pre-score credit on an anonymized basis. The company said it disbursed 380 loans in Q1 2021, up 90% from Q1 2020. These loans were given to 291 sellers across its platform, representing a 62% increase from the number of sellers that accessed last year’s loans.

Jumia reported €485.6 million of unrestricted cash at the end of the first quarter of 2021. This includes gross proceeds of about €205 million it secured from the offering completed on March 30, 2021, and €88 million cash booked in April 2021.

Before today’s earnings call, Jumia was trading at $21.60 per share. Since the market opened this morning and at the time of this writing, the company’s share price has increased by around 3.2% to just over $24.21. It seems investors remain optimistic about the company’s growth, especially its payments arm and its plans to achieve profitability, despite continued operating and adjusted EBITDA losses.

#africa, #e-commerce, #e-tailer, #earnings, #ecommerce, #electronics, #finance, #food-delivery, #jumia, #payments, #retailers, #rocket-internet, #tc

Peloton projects $165M revenue impact from treadmill recalls

What would have been a celebratory earnings call in just about any other quarter ended on a somber note today, as Peloton CEO John Foley kicked things off with an apology.

“We are a members-first organization,” the executive stated. “And that means for all of us at Peloton, the safety of our member community comes first. I want to be clear, though. Peloton made a mistake in our initial response to the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Request that we recall our Tread+ product. We should have been more open to a productive dialogue with them from the outset.”

The tone marks something of a 180, from the company that pushed back against CPSC statements last month, when Foley said the company was “troubled” by the commission’s “inaccurate and misleading” filings. Yesterday, Peloton and the CPSC issued a joint announcement of a voluntary recall for the Tread+ product, which has been linked with 72 reported incidents, including 29 injuries to children and one death.

The company also agreed to an additional recall for the lower-cost Tread, which thus far has only officially launched in Canada and the U.K., with availability to “select users” in the U.S. The recall will result in a delayed launch of the product in the States.

The issue, while potentially serious, has thus far amounted to far less than the Tread+’s belt issues. “While the new Tread as been well received, there have been some minor quality issues related to how the tablet console is attached to the Tread,” Foley explained. “The touchscreen attaches to the tread with screws. In a handful of cases, we’ve had reports of the screws loosening, causing the console to detach from the unit.”

While the company reported more excellent financial news, amid strong lockdown home fitness growth and a loosening of the supply chain constraints that hampered delivery early on the pandemic, the massive recall had an almost instantaneous impact on the company’s stock price. Alex noted late yesterday a 13.6% dip in shares.

Following Foley’s presentation, CFO Jill Woodworth laid out the expected impact to company revenue. “We estimate the revenue impact of Tread and Tread+ recall will be approximately $165 million,” the executive noted.

The figures include $105 million for ending deliveries on the impacted products. The offer of a full refund on the products will hit the company’s return reserves next quarter to the tune of $50 million, while the decision to waive three months of monthly fees for the All Access subscription to Tread and Tread+ users will make up the remaining $10 million. The company says it will continue to produce content while the CPSC evaluates the product.

The company is working on a hardware fix to the Tread’s dislodging tablet. Foley says the process generally takes six to eight weeks, but could take longer.

 

#earnings, #hardware, #peloton, #recall, #treadmills

The New York Times Tops 7.8 Million Subscribers as Growth Slows

The publisher added 301,000 digital subscribers for the first quarter, the slowest gain in over a year. Profits jumped, beating Wall Street expectations.

#advertising-and-marketing, #earnings, #kopit-levien-meredith, #new-york-times-company, #news-and-news-media, #newspapers

Investors cheer as Lyft’s Q1 revenue didn’t fall as much as expected

Investors gave Lyft’s value a small bump Tuesday after the American ride-hailing company reported results that weren’t quite as bad as the company, and Wall Street had expected. Shares of the Uber competitor rose as much as 4.5% in after-hours trading following the disclosure of its financial performance from the first three months of the year. As of the time of writing those gains have fallen to a smaller 2.5% gain.

Turning to its results, Lyft’s revenue fell 36% to $609 million in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the same period last year before the COVID-19 pandemic upended the economy, and, more specifically the ride-hailing industry. That disparity in revenue can be directly tied to fewer active riders using its app. The company said it had 13.49 million active riders in the first quarter, down more 36.4% from the 21.2 million riders on its network in the same period last year.

But while the company’s ride base and revenues did fall, the drops were not as extreme as the company, or its backers feared. As Lyft trumpeted at the top of its quarterly results deck, its revenue in the period was $59 million greater than the midpoint of its guidance. That’s investor speak for overshooting the mean, which apparently is an A+ in today’s market.

The company reported an adjusted EBITDA loss totaling $73 million in the first quarter, which was far better than anticipated. The company had expected a sharper $135 million adjusted EBITDA deficit for the period.

In addition to beating its own Q1 2021 goals to some degree, Lyft posted 7% percent revenue growth over what it recorded in Q4 2020, a detail that Lyft pointed to as a sign that the company was on the road to recovery. Lyft said ridership also improved some 8% from the previous quarter.

The company remains deeply unprofitable, despite its partial recovery. Lyft reported a net loss of $427.3 million in the first quarter, a 7.3% worsening from the $398.1 million net loss it recorded during the same period last year. Those losses included $180.7 million of stock-based compensation and related payroll tax expenses and $128.0 million related to changes to the liabilities for insurance required by regulatory agencies attributable to historical periods.

Despite the losses, Lyft executives said they were buoyed by stronger rider demand, which has picked up in recent months.

The company also emphasized the sale of its self-driving unit called Level 5, which was announced last week. Lyft sold the autonomous vehicle unit to Toyota’s Woven Planet Holdings subsidiary for $550 million, the latest in a string of acquisitions spurred by the cost and lengthy timelines to commercialize autonomous vehicle technology. Uber also sold its self-driving tech, work that was once seen as existential to the ride-hailing game.

Lyft’s so-called Level 5 division will be folded into Woven Planet Holdings once the transaction closes in the third quarter of 2021. Lyft will receive $550 million in cash, with $200 million paid upfront. The remaining $350 million will be made in payments over five years. About 300 people from Lyft Level 5 will be integrated into Woven Planet. The Level 5 team, which in early 2020 numbered more than 400 people in the U.S., Munich and London, will continue to operate out of its office in Palo Alto, California.

Lyft reported $2.2 billion of unrestricted cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments at the end of the first quarter of 2021.

Considering the company’s quarter in aggregate it’s easy to make the bearish and bullish case regarding its performance. On the bearish side of things, Lyft is smaller, and losing even more money than it did in the year-ago period. And the road to recovery for its operations will prove winding as COVID-19 declines to fuck off, even in the face of rising global vaccination levels.

On the bullish side of things, the following chart from the Lyft earnings deck is perhaps the best single-image argument that could be made for Lyft’s recovery being deeply underway:

Lyft Q1 2021

Image Credits: Screenshot/Lyft

More when Uber reports its own Q1 2021 performance tomorrow.

#automotive, #earnings, #electric-vehicles, #lyft, #ride-hailing, #rideshare, #transportation, #uber

Equity Monday: TechCrunch goes Yahoo while welding robots raise $56M

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

This is Equity Monday, our weekly kickoff that tracks the latest private market news, talks about the coming week, digs into some recent funding rounds and mulls over a larger theme or narrative from the private markets. You can follow the show on Twitter here and myself here.

This morning was a notable one in the life of TechCrunch the publication, as our parent company’s parent company decided to sell our parent company to a different parent company. And now we’re to have to get new corporate IDs, again, as it appears that our new parent company’s parent company wants to rebrand our parent company. As Yahoo.

Cool.

Anyway, a bunch of other stuff happened as well:

We’re back Wednesday with something special. Chat then!

Equity drops every Monday at 7:00 a.m. PST, Wednesday, and Friday at 6:00 AM PST, so subscribe to us on Apple PodcastsOvercastSpotify and all the casts!

#apollo, #china, #cloud, #dell, #earnings, #equity-podcast, #flywire, #fundings-exits, #lyft, #path-robotics, #paypal, #square, #startups, #uber, #verizon, #wealthsimple, #yahoo

Cloud infrastructure market keeps rolling in Q1 with almost $40B in revenue

Conventional wisdom over the last year has suggested that the pandemic has driven companies to the cloud much faster than they ever would have gone without that forcing event with some suggesting it has compressed years of transformation into months. This quarter’s cloud infrastructure revenue numbers appear to be proving that thesis correct.

With The Big Three — Amazon, Microsoft and Google — all reporting this week, the market generated almost $40 billion in revenue, according to Synergy Research data. That’s up $2 billion from last quarter and up 37% over the same period last year. Canalys’s numbers were slightly higher at $42 billion.

As you might expect if you follow this market, AWS led the way with $13.5 billion for the quarter up 32% year over year. That’s a run rate of $54 billion. While that is an eye-popping number, what’s really remarkable is the yearly revenue growth, especially for a company the size and maturity of Amazon. The law of large numbers would suggest this isn’t sustainable, but the pie keeps growing and Amazon continues to take a substantial chunk.

Overall AWS held steady with 32% market share. While the revenue numbers keep going up, Amazon’s market share has remained firm for years at around this number. It’s the other companies down market that are gaining share over time, most notably Microsoft which is now at around 20% share good for about $7.8 billion this quarter.

Google continues to show signs of promise under Thomas Kurian, hitting $3.5 billion good for 9% as it makes a steady march towards double digits. Even IBM had a positive quarter, led by Red Hat and cloud revenue good for 5% or about $2 billion overall.

Synergy Research cloud infrastructure bubble map for Q1 2021. AWS is leader, followed by Microsoft and Google.

Image Credits: Synergy Research

John Dinsdale, chief analyst at Synergy says that even though AWS and Microsoft have firm control of the market, that doesn’t mean there isn’t money to be made by the companies playing behind them.

“These two don’t have to spend too much time looking in their rearview mirrors and worrying about the competition. However, that is not to say that there aren’t some excellent opportunities for other players. Taking Amazon and Microsoft out of the picture, the remaining market is generating over $18 billion in quarterly revenues and growing at over 30% per year. Cloud providers that focus on specific regions, services or user groups can target several years of strong growth,” Dinsdale said in a statement.

Canalys, another firm that watches the same market as Synergy had similar findings with slight variations, certainly close enough to confirm one another’s findings. They have AWS with 32%, Microsoft 19%, and Google with 7%.

Canalys market share chart with Amazon with 32%, Microsoft 19% and Google 7%

Image Credits: Canalys

Canalys analyst Blake Murray says that there is still plenty of room for growth, and we will likely continue to see big numbers in this market for several years. “Though 2020 saw large-scale cloud infrastructure spending, most enterprise workloads have not yet transitioned to the cloud. Migration and cloud spend will continue as customer confidence rises during 2021. Large projects that were postponed last year will resurface, while new use cases will expand the addressable market,” he said.

The numbers we see are hardly a surprise anymore, and as companies push more workloads into the cloud, the numbers will continue to impress. The only question now is if Microsoft can continue to close the market share gap with Amazon.

#amazon, #cloud, #cloud-infrastructure-market-share, #earnings, #enterprise, #google, #ibm, #microsoft, #synergy-research, #tc

Facing uncharted waters, Apple reports 54% year-over-year revenue increase

A casually dressed stands in a green field.

Apple CEO Tim Cook announcing new products in the company’s April 20, 2021, livestream. (credit: Nathan Mattise)

Apple released its Q2 2021 earnings report to investors today after the bell, and it was another huge year—so huge, in fact, that investors are concerned it’s not sustainable as the world enters a new, later phase of the pandemic.

Revenue for the quarter was $89.58 billion, a record for the March quarter, and up 54 percent year-over-year. The number surpassed investors’ and analysts’ predictions and expectations leading up to the report. Gross margin was 42.5 percent.

Apple reported double-digit growth in every product category. Mac revenue was up 70.1 percent from last year ($9.10 billion and $7.8 billion, respectively), and the iPhone was up 65.5 percent (to $47.94 billion). Both Apple CEO Tim Cook and analysts have called the iPhone 12 launch a “super cycle,” in which adoption, upgrades, and sales are particularly strong due to various factors.

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#apple, #earnings, #ipad, #iphone, #mac, #tech

Today’s big tech earnings in a mere 700 words

Today was yet another day of earnings from tech’s biggest names. To keep you up to speed without burying you in an endless crush of numbers we’ve pulled out the key data from each of the major reports.

In each you will also find a link to their earnings reports. What does all of the data from the week’s earnings downloads mean for startups? We’ll have a full roundup on that front tomorrow morning, so stay tuned.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Facebook crushed financial expectations, missed slightly on users. Shares of Facebook are up around 5% after it reported its recent financial results. Facebook had a somewhat two-part report. The first piece of its results was a huge financial beat; the second was that it missed ever-so-slightly on active usage. Investors are weighing the former more heavily than the latter. In numerical terms, Facebook had been expected to report $23.67 billion in revenue. Instead, it posted $26.17 billion. And its earnings per share beat expectations by $0.93 per share, or just under 40%. Facebook is a controversial company with known issues. But turning in better than expected financial results is not one of them.
  • Shopify smashed expectations, again. Its shares spiked, again. The post-IPO Shopify story of the Canadian e-commerce infra player kicking the heck out of expectations continued today. Investors had expected Shopify to post $865.48 million in total Q1 2021 revenue. Shopify managed $988.6 million instead. And it beat profit expectations by a multiple. What drove the Shopify results? The company’s so-called “Merchant Solutions” business, which grew by 137%, faster than the company’s aggregate 110% growth rate in the quarter. Merchant Solutions at the company encompasses its payments, shipping, and capital services, among other elements of its business.
  • Apple shares rose after the company reported strong growth across its product categories. Apple, like Facebook, demolished investor expectations for its most recent quarter. In the three-month period ending March 27, 2021, Apple produced revenues of $89.6 billion and earnings per diluted share of $1.40 were miles ahead of an expected $77.35 billion in revenue and $0.99 in diluted EPS. What drove the huge win? Growth in every single product category that the company reports, compared to the year-ago period. iPhone sales totaled $47.94 billion, compared to a year-ago result of $28.96 billion. And the company’s key services business line grew from $13.35 billion to $16.90 billion over the same temporal interval. For the nerds in the room, Apple’s net income as a percentage of gross profit in the quarter was just over 62%. Wow.
  • Spotify shares fell sharply after it reported slower-than-anticipated user growth. In financial terms, Spotify had a pretty good quarter. It met revenue expectations (around €2.15 billion), and lost less money per share than was anticipated. However, the music streaming company’s user base only reached 356 million in the first quarter of the year, the low end of Spotify’s 354 million to 364 million guidance, and under the market’s expectation of just over 360 million. Its shares were off around 12% today. Why did Facebook shares rise after its usage miss, while Spotify’s fell? Facebook crushed financial expectations. Spotify merely met them. And Facebook’s user base miss appears smaller than what Spotify detailed.
  • GrubHub grew its revenues and losses ahead of its acquisition. GrubHub, which is in the final stages of being digested by JustEat Takeaway, brought in more money in the first quarter than in the same period a year ago, but also lost more money too. Here’s the breakdown: Revenue grew 52% year-over-year to $550.6 million thanks to all that pandemic-driven demand for delivery. GrubHub also reported a negative Adjusted EBITDA of $9.3 million. GrubHub blamed its adjusted EBITDA results on several factors, including temporary fee caps (which it opposes), increased delivery driver costs caused by short-term driver supply imbalances from surging demand, extreme winter weather in numerous parts of the country and, to a lesser degree, the issuance of stimulus payments that caused some drivers to temporarily reduce hours in March. Active diners rose 38% year-over-year to 33.0 million, another positive sign for the company. But alas, its net loss grew to $75 million, or a loss of $0.81 per diluted share compared to a net loss of $33.4 million or a loss of $0.36 per diluted share in the same year-ago period.

You can catch up on Microsoft and Alphabet earnings, among others, here.

 

#apple, #earnings, #facebook, #shopify, #spotify

Big tech earnings in fewer than 500 words

This afternoon Alphabet and Microsoft and Pinterest reported their quarterly earnings results for the first three months of 2021. Microsoft and Pinterest have rapidly lost value after reporting their results, while Alphabet appreciated after its own earnings download.

Sparing you a deluge of numbers, here’s what TechCrunch is pondering from each report in as few words as possible:

  • Alphabet’s earnings were strong across a number of fronts; investors cheered. YouTube revenue grew nearly 50% to $6.0 billion, search ads performed well, and even the infamously unprofitable “Other Bets” ground managed to post nearly $200 million in revenue. But the most notable result from the technology conglomerate was its cloud results. Google Cloud grew from $2.777 billion in revenue and an operating loss of $1.73 billion in the year-ago quarter to revenues of $4.047 billion and an operating loss of just $974 million. The Mountain View-based agglomeration of tech services is building not only a material revenue stream out of a non ad-based product, but one that could generate material operating income in time. If trends hold.
  • Microsoft’s earnings report was pretty good despite Wall Street disinterest. Microsoft grew 17% from its year-ago quarter while pushing its operating income up 31% to $17.0 billion; faster growing income compared to revenue is indicative of operating leverage. The company’s net income actually grew even more rapidly than its operating income, which is sharper than expected. Azure, the company’s Google Cloud and AWS competitor, grew 50% in the quarter which met expectations per CNBC. Microsoft remains incredibly rich, and its most future-looking products put up some pretty big numbers. Not bad!
  • Pinterest posted a monster quarter. Wall Street was not impressed. Pinterest’s Q1 2021 revenue of $485.230 million was up 78% compared to the year-ago quarter, the company cut its net loss from $141.196 million to $21.674 at the same time, and its non-GAAP net income rose from -$59.916 million to $78.527 during the first three months of the year. The result of this wildly impressive quarter? Its shares are off more than 8%. One reason Pinterest may have dropped is that the company missed on monthly active users (478 million reported, 480.5 million expected), and warned that it would see “sequential operating expense growth […] accelerate in Q2.” But with the company anticipating 105% revenue growth in the current quarter and mid-teens MAU growth in the same period, it’s hard to be that mad at the company. Unless we’re missing something major here, Pinterest is being punished by investors who simply expected even more?

And there you have it, a very quick catch up. I am not supposed to cover earnings much anymore, but while you can take the pig from the shit, it’s hard to get the pig to not blog about earnings!

 

#alphabet, #azure, #earnings, #google, #microsoft, #pinterest

Tesla grows 74% in the first quarter, besting expectations as its shares ease after hours

Today after the bell, American electric car company Tesla reported its Q1 2021 financial performance. The company lost modest ground on the stock market after its news broke.

For the broader electric vehicle and battery startup market that has pursued many SPAC-led combinations in recent months, the generally positive Tesla trailing results could prove a boon, underscoring continued market demand for their category’s hardware.

Turning to the numbers, in the first three quarters of the year, Tesla generated revenues of $10.389 billion, gross profit of $2.215 billion and net income of $438 million.

Tesla earned adjusted net income of $1.052 billion, leading to diluted, non-GAAP earnings per share of $0.93. The street had expected the company to report $10.29 billion in revenue and adjusted earnings per share of $0.79. Shares of Tesla are off around 1% in after-hours trading, after the company reported its top and bottom-line beat.

Tesla grew sharply compared to its year-ago period, in which the company generated $5.985 billion in top-line revenue, leading to just $68 million worth of net income. Compared to that year-ago period, Tesla’s Q1 2021 saw its revenues expand by 74%, its automotive gross margin improve by just under 1% (95 basis points), its aggregate gross margins better themselves by slightly less (70 basis points), and its net income explode 1,850% while its adjusted net income grew by an also impressive 304%.

In the same four-month period, Tesla’s operating cash flow came to $1.641 billion. The company can comfortably self-fund at that pace of cash generation. That’s underscored by the fact that Tesla closed its first quarter with cash and cash equivalents worth a total of $17.1 billion.

Tracking neatly with its 75% revenue growth was automotive production growth of 76% in the first quarter, with the company producing 180,338 cars, far above its year-ago Q1 tally of 102,672 units. Deliveries of vehicles rose 109%, to 184,877, over the same timeframe.

The company’s solar and energy storage businesses also posted material growth: Solar deployments rose 163% to 92 megawatts, while storage deployment rose 71% to 445 megawatt hours.

Turning to outlook, Tesla told investors in its deck that “over a multiyear horizon, [the company expects] to achieve 50% average annual growth in vehicle deliveries.” The company added that it anticipates Tesla Semi deliveries to commence this year, adding another revenue line to the company’s product mix.

Looking ahead, investors expect Tesla adjusted net income to rise to $0.99 per diluted share this quarter, off of revenues totaling $11.39 billion.

#automotive, #earnings, #tesla

Equity Monday: Social media crackdowns, earnings, and a funding deluge

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

This is Equity Monday, our weekly kickoff that tracks the latest private market news, talks about the coming week, digs into some recent funding rounds and mulls over a larger theme or narrative from the private markets. You can follow the show on Twitter here and myself here.

This weekend had a key story, earnings are on the way, and there is a huge number of funding rounds to talk about. Ready?

  • The Indian government’s move to remove a number of social media posts critical of its handling of COVID-19 was the key news item this weekend. As the country’s healthcare system buckles, and deaths spike, the move by the current administration to censor the Internet was just about as bad a look you could imagine. At least in terms of a tech response.
  • Also this weekend conversation continued about Substack’s recent push to hire away well-known writers from traditionally-respected publications continued, with Insider reporting that six-figure offers to join the paid newsletter platform are the norm.
  • This morning we’re focused on the impending earnings deluge. Major American tech companies, along with some key social media and ecommerce names will report, giving us a look into how tech companies performed in the first quarter of 2021. We already know that the venture market was hot during the period. How business fared, however, is less clear.
  • On the funding round beat, Mighty Networks raised $50 million, LEAD School raised $30 million, Kidato raised $1.4 million, StashAway stashed away $25 million, and Kyligence put together a $70 million Series D of its own.

The Honest Company also set an early IPO price range after we stopped recording. More to come on the IPO front. Chat Wednesday!

Equity drops every Monday at 7:00 a.m. PST, Wednesday, and Friday at 6:00 AM PST, so subscribe to us on Apple PodcastsOvercastSpotify and all the casts!

#covid-19, #earnings, #equity, #equity-podcast, #facebook, #fundings-exits, #google, #india, #startup, #startups, #tc, #twitter