There have been times in years past that Amazon, Alphabet, and Microsoft has had rough patches. Amazon has suffered quarters-long profit droughts. Alphabet has given its investors agita over profligate spending on non-core products. Microsoft’s growth—if not its profit engine—stalled for years, causing its stock to idle too.
The middle months of 2017 have not been one of those times for any of these companies.
Each, for their own reasons, reported anywhere from solid to spectacular earnings results Thursday. Amazon (AMZN, +13.39%) didn’t make any more money than it did the year before, but its growth resembles a startup more than the grownup it is. Alphabet’s(GOOGL, +4.34%) ad machine is humming. Microsoft (MSFT, +6.51%), a cloud computing convert, has completed the most impressive tech turnaround since Lou Gerstner taught an elephant to dance.
That these giants are charging simultaneously—throw in Twitter (TWTR, +6.40%) and Intel (INTC, +7.38%) too—is no coincidence. Their success is the digital transformation explained. Where the action once was in high-trafficked shopping malls, print and TV advertising, and client-server software, businesses that deliver digitally rule the roost today.