The executives who lead some of tech's most successful companies may seem as if they're operating on another playing field. After all, how is the everyman expected to follow the inner workings of a mind such as Jeff Bezos or Tim Cook?
But according to a research report from CB Insights, the executives who lead FAMGA companies (Facebook Inc. (FB) , Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) , Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) , Alphabet Inc.'s (GOOGL) Google and Apple Inc. (AAPL) ) make it pretty simple.
Utilizing data from earnings calls, CB developed four algorithms to track language executives use in addressing investors and analysts. CB's sentiment algorithm determined the tone of the executive on a call, measured positive, neutral or negative in a range from -1 to 1. The jargon algorithm tracked the use of business phrases or professional expressions that are tough to understand on a scale from 0 to 1.
The vagueness algorithm measured the use of imprecise language that might lack clarity in a range from 0 to 1. And finally, the grade level algorithm suggested how difficult the language used by executives is based on the necessary education attainment required to fully comprehend.
Google's Sundar Pichai offered easily comprehended earnings calls, while Apple's Cook made it a little tougher. Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and Microsoft's Satya Nadella might not make much sense to a high school sophomore, but they're both very optimistic.
When it comes to infighting, FAMGA is pretty neutral. Amazon rarely mentions the competition, whereas Google and Apple talk extensively about one another. Microsoft mentions Facebook frequently, but Facebook doesn't return the favor.
Amazon has mentioned its "customers" the most over the last decade, but Microsoft has been picking up steam. CB's data illustrated that Microsoft has shifted toward enterprise clients from the "consumer," as far as language showed.
Innovation remained an important aspect of FAMGA outlooks. Google was the long-term winner, but Microsoft closed the gap in 2017. For as much as it focuses on growth, Amazon used the word "innovation" with little frequency compared to the rest of the group.
Chief financial officers don't diverge all that much from the language of their CEOcounterparts, but Google's Ruth Porat was far and away the least vague. Microsoft's Amy Hood was both the most vague and the most inclined to use jargon among the group.
Regardless of how convoluted each CEO's communication might be, FAMGA stocks are still explosive. Shares of all five constituents are higher by at least 27% in the last year.