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

Red Deer property taxes to go up 2.15 per cent in 2019

City council approves $369.8 million budget

Sylvan Lake council approves concept plan for new park

Pogadl Park will eventally be home to numerous ball diamonds and sports fields

One person dead after collision on Highway 2A

Pickup truck and grain truck collided on Highway 2A south of Carstairs

Updated: Trial stalls for man accused in fatal Canada Day 2016 crash

Defence lawyer argued relevant information received only hours before trial to begin

Trudeau says politicians shouldn’t prey on Canadians’ fears

The Prime Minister was speaking at a townhall in Ontario

UPDATE: B.C. boy, aunt missing for three days

The pair are missing from Kamloops

Liberal bows out of byelection after singling out Jagmeet Singh’s race

Karen Wang says she made comments online that referenced Singh’s cultural background

Shooter pleads guilty to manslaughter in Stettler

A Stettler man charged with second-degree murder has pleaded guilty to manslaughter.… Continue reading

Kentucky canoe outfit borrows photo of Trudeau family to market business

They are in a red canoe, all clad in life jackets, and Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and Ella-Grace are waving

Police chief confirms all three Ottawa bus victims were on board when it crashed

OTTAWA — All three people killed in last week’s deadly bus accident… Continue reading

Theresa May wins no-confidence vote after Brexit deal rejection

UK PM can keep her job, after House of Commons voted 325-306

Alberta doctor accused of sexual assault asked to voluntarily give up practice

College says Dr. Barry Wollach should discontinue his practice, given the seriousness of the allegation against him

Speedy acceptance of Saudi shows refugee system’s flaws

Who would not wish Rahaf Mohammed well? The 18-year-old Saudi wants to… Continue reading

Most Read