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Amazon Earnings: Strong Results And A Farewell To Jeff Bezos

As expected, Amazon delivered outstanding holiday quarter results, driven by strong e-commerce and cloud adoption. But the announced departure of Jeff Bezos as CEO of the company stole the headlines.

Here at the Apple Maven, we discuss the Cupertino company and its stock first and foremost. But every so often, it helps to look at how some of its Big Tech peers have been performing.

On February 2, Amazon released its earnings report. Relative to expectations, the 2020 holiday period was Amazon’s second-best quarter in recent memory. As a result, the stock moved higher about 2% in after-hours trading.

Strong results and a CEO transition

In my earnings preview, I called out the likely trends in the fourth quarter of last year: strong e-commerce and accelerated adoption of cloud services. Both helped to propel Amazon’s revenues and earnings per share higher year-over-year by an impressive 44% and 118%, respectively.

But Amazon’s financial results in the most recent fiscal period ended up not being the highlight of earnings day. Instead, the announced departure of Jeff Bezos as CEO of the company, to take place in the third quarter of 2021, dominated the headlines.

It will be interesting to see if investors will remain comfortable and confident in Amazon, even without its founder at the helm, or bail out in fear of the company’s future.

At least judging by initial “knee jerk” reaction, it looks like the market will choose to give Amazon another vote of confidence ahead of the CEO transition.

Summarizing FAAMG earnings

February 2 marked the last day of earnings for the FAAMG group. Below is a list of how each company performed in the fourth calendar quarter, and how their shares reacted to each earnings day.

  • Facebook: solid top- and bottom-line beats, stock down 2% post earnings.
  • Amazon: strong top- and bottom-line beats, stock up 2% post earnings.
  • Apple: strong top- and bottom-line beats, stock down 5% post earnings.
  • Microsoft: one of the best top- and bottom-line beats, stock up 3% post earnings.
  • Alphabet: impressive top- and bottom-line beats, stock up 7% post earnings.

Twitter speaks

Last week, I asked: “which Big Tech stock will come out of earnings week the strongest?” The final results below suggest that optimism was on the side of Apple and Amazon, although Alphabet stock has fared best so far.

Regarding stock price performance, neither Apple nor Amazon ended up being the winners. But both companies delivered impressive financial results nonetheless, beyond the expectations of the most bullish Wall Street analysts.

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(Disclaimers: the author may be long one or more stocks mentioned in this report. Also, the article may contain affiliate links. These partnerships do not influence editorial content. Thanks for supporting The Apple Maven)