June 24, 2024


Unlimited Technology

Big Tech Got Bigger, Big Oil Got Smaller During Virus Lockdown

(Bloomberg) — A quarter that captured the height of pandemic lockdowns is making the divide between Big Tech and Big Oil more apparent than ever.

Facebook Inc., Amazon.com Inc. and Apple Inc. smashed analysts’ estimates on Thursday after shoppers turned to grocery delivery and iPhone entertainment while cities around the world shut down. Less than 24 hours later, Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. reported historic quarterly losses that, while expected, showed just how much fuel demand plunged when flights were grounded and commutes halted.

On a day when tech earnings offered a boost to the broader market, Exxon and Chevron shares fell. The divergence may be more stark thanks to the virus, but it’s a trend that was starting to take shape even before Covid-19.

“It’s the classic value versus growth conundrum,” said Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Fernando Valle. “You can’t grow in oil right now. There’s no return for your growth.”

For Exxon, even the dividend is looking precarious after years of heavy borrowing. And Chevron warned that, despite signs of economic recovery, the rest of the year will continue to be a challenging one.

“It’s an industry that really depends on access to capital,” said Valle. “Big Oil is going to face an uphill battle.”

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