It’s that time of the year again: earnings season for some of the largest tech companies around.
Already this week we’ve seen IBM, Yahoo, Netflix, and Microsoft release quarterly financial results. Up next week? None other than the Four Horsemen of Tech, or as I like to call them, the GAAF. (That means “cool” in Dutch, but also stands for Google, Apple, Amazon, and Facebook.)
There are a lot of minute details—and jargon—crammed into each of these companies’ earnings calls, but most can be boiled down to just one key word. In the spirit of simplification, here is what you need to know about the companies that have already released their latest results. Stayed tuned for the GAAF, which I will write about next week.
IBM: Transition. As in, it’s hard turning around a century-old tech company. Despite some bright spots—Big Blue did beat analysts’ expectations—it has now reported its 17th consecutive quarter of revenue decline.
Yahoo: Goodbye. No, not to Tumblr, the acquisition that has struggled for years to make money, but to Yahoo itself. The company’s sale process is likely nearing its end, and this was likely Yahoo’s last quarterly earnings call as a whole, independent entity.
Netflix: “Un-grandfather.” As in, phasing in price increases for customers by $1 or $2 per month. Also known as, people don’t like to pay more for the same product. Cue the company’s stock tumbling about 15% in after-hours trading Monday after it announced lower-than-expected subscriber numbers.
Microsoft: Azure is kicking ass. OK, that’s more than one word. On Tuesday, the Redmond, Wash.-based giant said its Azure cloud business doubled revenue year over year. The only missing info? An actual dollar amount.
How these Fortune 500 companies are moving to the cloud. The big public cloud providers that are challenging Amazon Web Services are eager to show that they’re winning customers—especially big, Fortune 500 type customers. Witness this week’s carefully orchestrated news that agriculture giant Land O’ Lakes and Boeing, the just-turned-100-year-old aerospace behemoth, are using Microsoft Azure. Big coup? The reality is that most companies will wind up using more than one service.
BITS & BYTES
Shareholders take just 12 minutes to OK Dell-EMC merger. The largest-ever tech takeover is now worth “just” $62 billion, rather than the $67 billion when it was proclaimed originally last fall. An overwhelming majority of EMC shareholders approved the deal and compensation packages for executives who will lead the combined company, to be called Dell Technologies. (Fortune)
SAP steps up. Despite the European political turmoil, the business software giant managed to beat both top-line and bottom-line forecasts. Overall revenue for new software licenses grew 10%, while the company’s cloud business expanded 41%. (Bloomberg)
Proctor & Gamble channels Amazon with online subscriptions. The consumer products giant is experimenting with letting customers order Tide Pod laundry detergent refills directly, a web service akin to Amazon’s Dash initiative. (Wall Street Journal)
GE exports ‘industrial Internet’ to China. It is partnering with Huawei, the influential Chinese networking company, on an initiative to bring smart manufacturing technologies to the local market. (Fortune)
Apple Pay reaches European mainland. The mobile payments service went live in France on Tuesday, its first major market in Europe after the U.K. (Fortune)
5 things you didn’t know about Samsung, but should. Among them: It was the second company to produce an Android smartphone. (Fortune)
Hyperloop One accuses co-founder of plotting ‘failed coup.’ The startup, which is developing revolutionary, high-speed transportation technologies, filed the complaint after being sued for intimidation and breach of fiduciary duty last week by Brogan BamBrogan. (Fortune)
Solving for safety should be No. 1 priority for autonomous car makers. “We don’t want to replace crashes with human factors with large numbers of crashes caused by systems,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said Tuesday at an industry event. (Fortune)
Marketing startup Sprinklr is now valued at $1.8 billion. The acquisitive startup has raised another $105 million to combat Adobe, Oracle, and Salesforce, bringing its total backing to $239 million. (Fortune)
WATCH FOR IT
Scrutinize Intel’s diversification progress. The giant chip maker is expected to record $13.5 billion in revenue for its second quarter, with results due late Wednesday. Given its recent restructuring, Intel’s progress in data center and mobile technologies will be in the spotlight, but analysts are looking for validation that the broader personal computer market is doing better than anticipated. (Motley Fool, MarketWatch)
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Why ‘Network Power’ Is the Secret of Success for Apple, Facebook, and Amazon, by Joshua Cooper Ramo
Slack Taps $80 Million Fund to Invest in More Startups, by Heather Clancy
Becoming a ‘Verified’ Twitter Celebrity Just Became a Lot Easier, by Chauncey L. Alcorn
Why BMW Is Investing in a Social Network for Motorcyclists, by Kirsten Korosec
ONE MORE THING
What you missed at last week’s Fortune Brainstorm Tech. The photographic evidence. (Fortune)