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People pass the New York Stock Exchange. Photo: Richard Drew

Big tech may have a variety of problems these days, but solid profits isn't one of them. Thursday saw strong reports from a bunch of the industry's largest companies, including Intel, Microsoft, Amazon and Alphabet (parent company of Google). And they all beat expectations. Even Twitter, which disclosed it overstated monthly active users for several quarters, posted earnings ahead of expectations, sending the stock higher Thursday.

The bottom line: The PC market may be struggling, but tech is far more diversified than it once was. Even Intel and Microsoft managed to beat expectations amid flat computer sales.

Here's a snapshot of each company's earnings report:

  • Alphabet - The search giant handily beat expectations, sending its stock to an all-time high. The company saw notable growth in the Asia-Pacific region as well as from mobile search. Also, viewing of YouTube from TVs is up 70% in the last year.
  • Intel - Despite a weak PC business, the chip giant bested estimates due to the strength in all the other parts of its business including flash memory, chips for the data center and Internet-of-Things chips.
  • Microsoft - Like Intel, Microsoft's strong earnings came despite the weak PC business. Its cloud computing efforts are again the big story here, as the company has now reached its goal of a $20 billion annual run rate for its business cloud efforts.
  • Amazon - The online retail juggernaut continues to gobble up the lions share of e-commerce and, with its Whole Foods acquisition and other moves, appears ready to swallow up a hefty chunk of traditional retail too. (BTW, Amazon now has 540,000 employees, making it the second leading employer in the U.S. after Walmart. And it has wholesale pharmacy licenses in more than a dozen states.)
  • Twitter - Of all the big tech companies, Twitter probably faces the most questions about its business. Nonetheless, investors were pleased with results and sent shares up more than 18% after Thursday morning's earnings report.
  • Baidu - The Chinese company also beat estimates, but shares fell as its forecast was less than what some were expecting.

Go deeper

Mind the emissions gap

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The sprint to secure more stringent emissions reduction commitments ahead of the COP26 summit has petered out well short of the finish line, a new United Nations report out this morning concludes.

Driving the news: The "Emissions Gap" report offers a clear comparison between where emissions need to be to reach the Paris Agreement's goals, and where they actually are. It takes new and preexisting emissions pledges, called Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), into consideration.

Exclusive: Billionaires back new media firm to combat disinformation

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A new public benefit corporation backed by billionaires Reid Hoffman, George Soros, and others is launching Tuesday to fund new media companies and efforts that tackle disinformation.

Why it matters: Good Information Inc. aims to fund and scale businesses that cut through echo chambers with fact-based information. As part of its mission, it plans to invest in local news companies.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
60 mins ago - Economy & Business

Scoop: Sequoia Capital just blew up the VC fund model

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Sequoia Capital, one of the world's oldest and most successful venture capital firms, is forming a single fund to hold all of its U.S. and European investments, including stakes in publicly-traded companies, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Venture capital is the money of innovation, but the industry itself rarely innovates. This is a radical exception.