Infotech As the holidays approach, Amazon and Apple suffer from shortages

As the holidays approach, Amazon and Apple suffer from shortages

Amazon and Apple raked in tens of billions of dollars in revenue in the last quarter, but the two tech and electronics giants are seeing their growth suffer from the same ills as the rest of the economy: hiring difficulties and shortages semiconductors.

The results of the two American groups, published Thursday, October 28, disappointed investors, and their securities each lost more than 3% during electronic trading after the close of the New York Stock Exchange. Amazon, which is struggling to hire up to its needs, reported third-quarter revenue of $ 110.8 billion (+ 15%), in line with its expectations, but not those of analysts who expected more than 111.6 billion.

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The leader of the online commerce has released “only” $ 3.2 billion in net profit, a figure that suffers from the unfavorable comparison with last year, when it had tripled its profits over one year to 6.3 billion, thanks to the health crisis and an annual sales operation. In its press release, the American group highlights its many investments, stressing that it has “Almost doubled its warehouse network since the start of the pandemic”.

At the end of September, nearly 1.5 million people worked for Amazon around the world, 30% more than a year ago, and the firm continues to hire hard to meet the ever-weakening demand. not, despite the lifting of containment measures in many countries.

Lack of humans and fleas

But the tensions in the American labor market are slowing it down. “In the fourth quarter, we expect several billion in additional costs for our consumer sales business”, Amazon warned, citing “Lack of manpower, rising wages, global supply problems and rising transport costs”.

The Seattle group (north-west of the United States) announced ten days ago its intention to recruit 150,000 seasonal workers for the holiday season, in addition to 165,000 hires already announced in September. It offers high hiring bonuses. The price of oil and supply problems are also weighing on its activities, as on those of Apple.

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The California-based firm estimates it lost around $ 6 billion in revenue from July to September due to “Greater than expected supply constraints”Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook said on the results conference call.

In detail, the apple mark was struck, by “Silicone shortages”, an essential element in the manufacture of electronic chips, which affect the entire consumer electronics sector, as well as “Disturbances linked to the coronavirus” in the group’s subcontracting factories in South-East Asia. “We are still living in an unprecedented era”, said Tim Cook.

Soft forecasts, high expectations

He expects sales losses in the current quarter, that of the holiday season, to be greater than those recorded this summer. In total, revenue stood at $ 83.3 billion, up 29%, driven by iPhone sales.

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Sales of the flagship device jumped 47% year-on-year. Over its entire 2020/21 fiscal year (October to September), Apple sold smartphones worth $ 191.9 billion, by far the record, and nearly a third more than in its last exercise before the pandemic.

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Figures that prove that demand remains strong, commented analyst Dan Ives of Wedbush, optimistic about Apple’s prospects for the end of the year and beyond. Not too many concerns either on the side of Amazon, which expects sales of between 130 and 140 billion dollars for the last quarter of the year (i.e. growth of between 4 and 12% over one year).

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“These soft forecasts would be more worrying if Amazon weren’t used to performing beyond expectations over the holidays.”, reacted Andrew Lipsman of the firm eMarketer. The world leader in the cloud (remote computing) can also count on this activity made fundamental by the pandemic: its AWS subsidiary saw its revenues increase by 39% over one year in the last quarter, exceeding $ 16 billion.

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