America’s Largest Businesses Are As Healthy As Ever

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Earnings season is in full swing, and there is one word to describe it: gusher.

Alphabet: There are earnings beats, and then there was this. Google’s parent company trounced expectations with herculean strength across YouTube, search engine, and its cloud businesses.

The narrative is familiar, more brands turned to digital advertising to locate customers as print, television, and in-store promotions became less relevant during the pandemic. Total profits in the first quarter alone reached almost $18 billion, soaring 162%. To match the year — unprecedented.

AP Moller-Maersk: Denmark-based Maersk owes a big thank you to the captain of the Ever Given, the ship which clogged the Suez Canal for nearly a week. Yesterday Maersk said the disruption and soaring prices caused by the closure of the canal would last most of 2021. For Maersk, that means:

  • It doubled its profit guidance 2021 to EBITDA of $9 billion to $11 billion, up from its previous forecast made in February of $4.3 billion to $6.3 billion.
  • Seen as a bellwether for global trade as it transports about a fifth of all seaborne freight, Maersk has benefited from record-high freight rates and shippers struggling to keep up with demand.

Starbucks: One of the first large U.S. companies to be impacted by the pandemic with the closure of its Chinese locations, the coffee chain is bouncing back.

the takeaway

General Electric proved to be the exception, with the 129-year-old industrial giant reporting slumping sales and a “still difficult environment for aviation.”