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Tech Companies Profiting Big from COVID-19 Pandemic -GlobalData

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Tech Giants Growing Market Value During COVID-19 Pandemic

Global tech giants are taking advantage of the numerous business opportunities that the COVID-19 pandemic is opening up across the globe.

This was evident in the second quarter financial reports of the top 25 technology companies that saw the market capitalisation of the companies expanding quarter-on-quarter during a global health crisis.

According to the Data compiled by GlobalData, Apple’s second-quarter revenue was aided by the strong performance from its services and wearables business units despite COVID-19 disruption. This, according to the data, allowed the tech giant to gain substantial market share and emerged as the world’s most valuable company.

Speaking on the strong financial statements from global tech giants, Keshav Jha, Business Fundamentals Analyst at GlobalData, said: “Apart from its impressive Q2 performance, the announcement of the new iOS and new iMac during Apple’s annual developer conference (WWDC) in June 2020 seemed to have pleased investors with the company’s MCap rising by over 40% during the quarter.

“The second of the top 25 technology companies by MCap was Microsoft. The company’s business accelerated during the company’s Q3 ending March 31 2020 mainly driven by growth in its cloud usage, increased Xbox sales, and higher demand for Office commercial and Dynamics business solutions. The company’s decision to close its physical stores and invest in e-commerce operations to drive sales, as well as the announcement of regular quarterly dividend, helped its stocks reach a new high.

“In third place was Amazon Web Services (AWS), which recorded a huge surge in demand of its cloud services after the COVID-19 outbreak. Additionally, an increase in e-commerce retail demand due to lockdowns imposed by governments in major economies helped Amazon’s stock rise over 40% and its MCap crossed US$1 trillion mark in Q2 2020.”

Alphabet, Facebook and Tencent led in the digital advertising space with over 20 percent quarter-on-quarter growth in their market capitalisation. The report noted that in the last three weeks of Q1 2020, advertisement revenue of Alphabet and Facebook dipped slightly but started showing stability in the first three weeks of April.

This renewed interest in the advertisement of the two companies aided their stocks by 20 percent in April as investors remained strongly bullish due to an increase in consumer engagement on its services because of the quarantine and shelter-in-place orders.

Jha continued: “Although suspension of sports events affected Tencent’s media advertising revenue, its online advertisement and games revenues increased over 30% in Q1 2020, ended March 31, which seemed to help the company win over investors’ confidence.”

For major semiconductor companies such as Samsung, Taiwan Semiconductor, NVIDIA, ASML, Broadcom, Texas Instruments and Qualcomm their market value grew between 9 percent to 45 percent quarter-on-quarter during the period.

Jha adds: “The health crisis led to rise in demand for memory chips, mainly due to higher demand from cloud applications linked to remote working and online education. The continued investment in AI, 5G infrastructure, data center, autonomous vehicles and gaming also kept market interested in these stocks.”

While ServiceNow and Zoom were the two entrants on the GlobalData’s top 25 technology companies ‘my MCap list’. They both grew subscription revenues and widening customer base with ServiceNow closing 37 deals in the first quarter. Zoom usage surged by 75.6 percent quarter-on-quarter in the second quarter of 2020.

Jha concludes: “The economic downturn caused by COVID-19 has impacted all sectors, but the performance of tech stocks in Q2 suggests that investors believe they can successfully manage the headwinds from the health crisis. Tech companies are uniquely positioned to provide technology and resources to organizations and partners, which help in securely accessing and sharing data while working remotely. These companies are also playing pivotal role for consumers coping with lockdown measures, and in enabling health institutions and governments to maintain databases, which help in containing the spread of virus.”

Please note that the technology companies include software and hardware developers, IT services providers (including internet-based services providers), and electronics manufacturers including semiconductors, mobile devices etc.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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YouTube Suspends Trump Channel

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YouTube Suspends Trump Channel

Google-owned YouTube on Tuesday temporarily suspended President Donald Trump’s channel and removed a video for violating its policy against inciting violence, joining other social media platforms in banning his accounts after last week’s Capitol riot.

Trump’s access to the social media platforms he has used as a megaphone during his presidency has been largely cut off since a violent mob of his supporters stormed the Capitol in Washington DC last week.

Operators say the embittered leader could use his accounts to foment more unrest in the run-up to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.

“In light of concerns about the ongoing potential for violence, we removed new content uploaded to Donald J. Trump’s channel for violating our policies,” YouTube said in a statement.

The channel is now “temporarily prevented from uploading new content for a ‘minimum’ of 7 days,” the statement read.

The video-sharing platform also said it will be “indefinitely disabling comments” on Trump’s channel because of safety concerns.

Facebook last week suspended Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts following the violent invasion of the US Capitol, which temporarily disrupted the certification of Biden’s election victory.

In announcing the suspension last week, Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg said Trump used the platform to incite violent and was concerned he would continue to do so.

Twitter went a step further by deleting Trump’s account, depriving him of his favorite platform. It was already marking his tweets disputing the election outcome with warnings.

The company also deleted more than 70,000 accounts linked to the bizarre QAnon conspiracy theory, which claims, without any evidence, that Trump is waging a secret war against a global cabal of satanist liberals.

Trump also was hit with suspensions by services like Snapchat and Twitch.

The president’s YouTube account has amassed 2.77 million subscribers.

The home page of the Trump channel featured a month-old video of Trump casting doubt on the voting process in November’s presidential election, and had logged some 5.8 million views.

On Tuesday, an activist group called on YouTube to join other platforms in dumping Trump’s accounts, threatening an advertising boycott campaign.

(AFP)

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Analysts Predict 1,137% Earnings Per Share Growth for Shopify’s Full Year 2020

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Analysts Predict 1,137% Earnings Per Share Growth for Shopify’s Full Year 2020

While the pandemic has devastated countless businesses, it has provided a major boon for eCommerce platform Shopify.

Shopify’s stock rallied by 169.9% in 2020 compared to the industry’s 26.6% growth. As of mid-December 2020, according to the research data analyzed and published by Finnish site Sijoitusrahastot, it had a 90 RS rating, which means that it had outperformed 90% of stocks during the year.

Based on the Zacks Consensus Estimate, its Q4 earnings per share (EPS) are set to jump by 188.37% to $1.24 while its sales will grow by 78% to $899.2 million. For the full year 2020, analysts project a massive 1,137% jump for the Shopify EPS.

Shopify Merchants Sell Over $5.1 Billion on Black Friday, Cyber Monday

Since Shopify went public in 2015, its stock has risen over 40-fold to more than $1,200 at the end of December 2020. Between 2016 and 2019, it skyrocketed by over 1,400%.

The eCommerce platform’s earnings for Q1 to Q3 2020 grew at an average of 552%. That was well above the 101% three-year average. In Q3 2020, its revenue nearly doubled from $390.6 million to $767.4 million.

Earnings in Q3 2020 rose from a net loss of 29 cents to $1.13 per share. Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV) soared by 109% reaching $30.9 billion, compared to 46% in Q1 2020 and 119% in Q2 2020. For the first nine months of 2020, there was a revenue increase of 82%.

For the first time, Shopify’s GMV surpassed that of eBay in Q2 2020, doing it again in Q3 2020. It claims to have a 6% share of the US market, higher than eBay’s but lower than Amazon’s 37%.

During the Black Friday Cyber Monday weekend, merchants on the Shopify platform sold goods worth $5.1 billion. Compared to 2019, this marked a 76% uptick and set a new record. Comparatively, independent businesses on Amazon sold goods worth $4.8 billion. The number of buyers on Shopify increased by 50% year-over-year (YoY) to 44 million during that weekend.

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Global Digital Payments Market to Grow by 23.7% in 2020 to $4.9 Trillion

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While it was already under way prior to the pandemic, the global shift to digital payments has been positively affected by the crisis.

According to the research data analyzed and published by Finnish website Sijoitusrahastot, the global digital payments market grew by 21% YoY in transaction value during H1 2020. Statista projects that the market’s total transaction value will grow by 23.7% year-over-year (YoY) in 2020 to reach $4.93 trillion. The number of users is also set to increase by 10.1% YoY to reach 3.47 billion.

Asia’s Digital Payments Market to Reach $2.88 Trillion in 2020

In the period between 2020 and 2024, the global digital payments will grow at a 13.4% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) to reach $8.17 trillion by 2024. The market’s top segment is digital commerce, estimated to grow at 4.8% YoY reach $2.93 trillion in 2020. By 2024, it is set to grow to $4.11 trillion, growing at a CAGR of 8.9%.

China will take the lead in digital payments, growing to $2.31 trillion, as well as in digital commerce, reaching $1.17 trillion in 2020. For Asia as a whole, digital payments will reach $2.88 trillion in 2020 as per a Statista report.

According to McKinsey, Asia generated $900 billion in 2019 as payment revenue, almost half the global total. Between 2018 and 2019, digital payments in Asia Pacific grew by 24.7%. Comparatively, the growth rate was 14.1% in the global market, 12.2% in Europe and 5.6% in North America.

China has a dominant role in the market, thanks to mobile payments. Based on a Finextra report, 70% of China’s consumers use mobile wallets regularly. It estimates that in 2020, 80% of global mobile wallet revenue will come from China.

Capgemini projects that in 2020, mobile payments in APAC will grow at 13.9% YoY to reach $277.5 billion. In contrast, the figure will be $229.1 billion in Europe, growing at 6.2% YoY and $184.8 billion in North America, growing at 3.0%.

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