Hands up if you’ve been buying oodles of stuff online during the pandemic. Shopify Inc. investors would like to thank you for contributing to their bulging retirement nest eggs. Fuelled by the boom in e-commerce, the provider of online shopping software posted first-quarter revenue of US$988.6-million, up 110 per cent from a year earlier, as the value of orders processed by merchants on the Shopify platform more than doubled to US$37.3-billion. Go on. Order some more stuff. You haven’t maxed out your credit card yet.
Far-right conspiracy theories. Vaccine disinformation. Hate speech. You can get it all – plus some great apple crumble recipes – on Facebook. With the social-media giant’s shares hitting a record high this week, you won’t hear any complaints from investors: Driven by increased advertiser spending, Facebook Inc.’s revenue soared 48 per cent to US$26.2-billion in the first quarter, as earnings nearly doubled to US$9.5-billion or US$3.30 a share. “Hey, Martha, did you see this? Joe Biden actually died last month and the deep state replaced him with a life-like robot.”
Ford Motor (DOG)
Business quiz! Shares of Ford Motor Co. fell sharply after the automaker: a) announced it is bringing back the “iconic Ford Pinto – but hopefully with fewer explosions this time”; b) recalled its line of F-150 pickup trucks which, owing to a production error, had the letters “FROD” emblazoned across the grille; c) beat first-quarter earnings expectations but warned that it will lose about 50 per cent of its second-quarter production, citing a global shortage of auto-related semiconductor chips that has led to temporary plant shutdowns by Ford and other carmakers. Answer: c.
Spotify Technology (DOG)
It’s been a rough week for Spotify Technology SA. First, the audio-streaming service faced a backlash after its popular podcaster, Joe Rogan, advised young, healthy people not to get vaccinated for COVID-19. Then, Spotify’s stock tumbled after the company’s first-quarter monthly active user count missed expectations and its second-quarter forecast also fell short of Wall Street estimates, even as Mr. Rogan’s exclusive podcasts brought in more users than expected. That may be good for Spotify, but it’s bad for the millions of listeners exposed to his amateur public-health advice.
United Parcel Service (STAR)
“Honey, the UPS driver just dropped off four more parcels. He says hi.” With consumers ordering everything from clothing to fitness equipment online during the pandemic, United Parcel Service Inc. reported that revenue jumped 27 per cent to US$22.9-billion in the first quarter, topping Wall Street expectations. The record results – including earnings that also beat estimates – sent shares of the world’s biggest package-delivery company to a fresh high. “I think I see a brown truck coming down the street again. Should we offer him a coffee?”
A humorous look at the companies that caught our eye, for better or worse, this week
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