Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon and Google parent Alphabet reported unexpectedly large profits this week. (Photo by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)

7 striking facts about the money tech companies are making

Everyone knows the tech industry is rich, but it can be challenging to get your head around just how much money it’s minting.

Four of the industry’s giants — Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon and Google parent Alphabet — reported unexpectedly large profits this week. (Amazon’s profit more than doubled Thursday.) A fifth, Apple, releases earnings on Tuesday. These companies are the largest on Earth, at least in terms of their market value.

But their raw financial figures only tell you so much. Here are seven facts you might not know about the lucre the technology industry is rolling in.

___

The five largest tech companies are collectively worth more than the entire economy of the United Kingdom. Investors value these companies at $3.5 trillion; the gross domestic product of the U.K. was $2.6 trillion in 2017, according to the International Monetary Fund . Only four national economies are larger than the combined tech giants: those of the U.S., China, Japan and Germany.

The same five tech companies are worth more than the next 11 most valuable U.S. corporations, a list that includes JPMorgan Chase, Johnson & Johnson and Walmart.

___

Apple makes roughly as much money every day as 2500 average U.S. households can expect to see in a year. That’s $151 million, a figure calculated from the company’s expected profit in the January-March quarter and the median household income of $57,230 reported by the Census Bureau .

For a more prosaic comparison, Apple makes almost three times what ExxonMobil does; the oil giant had an average daily profit of $54 million last year.

___

While you were looking at baby pictures or stalking your ex yesterday, Facebook made $1.6 million. The average user spends 42 minutes a day on the service, according to eMarketer estimates. Facebook’s profits were almost $5 billion in the first quarter — $56 million a day, $2.3 million an hour, $39,000 a minute.

___

The two big tech companies you almost never pay directly — Google and Facebook — can afford to offer you free services thanks to their hammerlock on digital advertising. The two will sell an estimated $61 billion in U.S. online ads this year, according to the research firm eMarketer.

That’s more than a quarter of expected U.S. spending on all forms of advertising ($221 billion). All of it is in the hands of just two companies.

___

Mark Zuckerberg made $6.6 billion on Thursday, the day after Facebook reported earnings. The company’s stock jumped 9 per cent on the news; the Facebook co-founder owned 457.1 million shares as of Dec. 31.

Of course, that cuts both ways. When Facebook’s stock slid 8 per cent in a day after the Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal broke, Zuckerberg lost more than $6 billion.

___

With a single move, Amazon could create $2 billion out of thin air. The company just said it will raise the annual price of its Prime membership program to $119 from $99. Given that there are now over 100 million Prime members — and assuming they don’t flee— that’s a good chunk of change for sliding a few digits around.

___

If you’d put $10,000 into Apple stock in September 1997 when co-founder Steve Jobs came back as CEO, your stake would be worth $2.1 million today.

Just Posted

Cannabis retail store will open later in October in Red Deer

Two cannabis stores coming to downtown Red Deer

Neighbours drop opposition to Red Deer County communications tower

Communication tower to be located in Balmoral Heights

Legal cannabis comes with many unknowns: Red Deer County councillors

Councillors question how rural municipalities will be able to enforce cannabis regulations

Kitten season puts pressure on Red Deer shelter

More public education needed to control cat population

Video: Windows smashed at three Red Deer businesses

Red Deer RCMP arrest man after vandalism spree

‘Start low, go slow’: Experts walk bud beginners through cannabis 101

With the countdown to cannabis legalization Wednesday ticking towards 4-20, some novice… Continue reading

NHL stays with status quo as Canada pot legalization looms

As Riley Cote took and delivered countless punches over more than a… Continue reading

Paul Stanley: Kiss farewell tour could include ex-members

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — It won’t be all night, but former members… Continue reading

Judge tosses Stormy Daniels’ defamation suit against Trump

WASHINGTON — A federal judge dismissed Stormy Daniels’ defamation lawsuit against President… Continue reading

Canada open to growing trade with China now that USMCA is a done deal: PM

TORONTO — Canada is open to doing more business with China now… Continue reading

Pot shop raids “highly unlikely” on Wednesday: head of police chiefs

VANCOUVER — Police departments across Canada are fully prepared for marijuana legalization… Continue reading

Campers will be able to smoke cannabis at campsites in Canada’s national parks

Parks Canada says visitors should do their research on cannabis before going… Continue reading

U.S. pot firms urge Trump to deny Canadian producers’ ‘competitive advantage’

WASHINGTON — An American cannabis producer is warning President Donald Trump that… Continue reading

Most Read