U.S. stocks closed higher on Tuesday, with the S&P 500 hitting another record, after investors weighed stronger-than-expected corporate earnings from Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA), Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) and Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE:CMG).
The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 61.81 points or 0.36 percent, to close at 17,113.54. The S&P 500 rose 9.90 points or 0.50 percent, to end at 1,983.53. The Nasdaq Composite gained 31.31 points or 0.71 percent, to finish at 4,456.02.
Apple Beats Earnings Estimates, Misses On Revenue
After the closing bell, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) reported fiscal 2014 third-quarter earnings of $1.28 a share on revenue of $37.4 billion, compared with earnings of $1.05 per share on revenue of $35.32 billion in the year-ago period.
The tech giant posted EPS that topped analysts’ expectations while revenue came in just shy of predictions.
Wall Street had expected the tech giant to report earnings per share of $1.23 in the third-quarter on revenue of $37.9 billion, according to analysts polled by Reuters.
Meanwhile, Apple’s fourth-quarter guidance came in below estimates.
“That [fourth-quarter guidance] is definitely going to be important for them,” Mark Newton, chief technical analyst at Greywolf Execution Partners, said to IBTimes ahead of Apple’s earnings report. “Regardless of how everything comes in, the stock has already anticipated a lot of this move.”
For the current quarter, Apple expects revenue between $37 billion and $40 billion, compared with analysts’ expectations for $40.6 billion.
Net income rose to $7.7 billion from $6.9 billion a year earlier.
“Our record June quarter revenue was fueled by strong sales of iPhone and Mac and the continued growth of revenue from the Apple ecosystem, driving our highest EPS growth rate in seven quarters,” Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, said in the company’s third-quarter earnings statement. “We are incredibly excited about the upcoming releases of iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, as well as other new products and services that we can’t wait to introduce.”
The company said it sold 35.2 million iPhones in the quarter, up nearly 13 percent, but just below analysts' projections for sales of 35.9 million. Apple sold 4.4 million Macs for the quarter, up 18 percent from the year-ago period, as iPad sales fell to 13.3 million.
Apple topped expectations in the second-quarter after the company reported iPhones sales of 43.7 million, ahead of the 37 million to 38 million iPhones analysts had expected on Wall Street.
Last week, the tech giant announced a strategic relationship with International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) to “to transform enterprise mobility.” IBM said it would create a class of more than 100 enterprise solutions, including native apps, developed exclusively for iPhones and iPads to run on Apple's iOS platform. In return, IBM will sell Apple's products with 100 industry-specific apps to its business clients worldwide.
The iPhone maker announced a 7-for-1 stock split in April and the new split-adjusted trade took place on June 9.
The company said it generated $10.3 billion in cash flow from operations and returned over $8 billion in cash to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases during the June quarter. Apple has now taken action on over $74 billion of its $130 billion capital return program with six quarters remaining to its completion.
“A lot of the price and volume action seems to suggest that a lot has already been baked into the stock at this point,” Newton added. “It’s really going to need to blow out a number of different factors to think the stock could rise above $100 a share.”
Shares of Apple edged down 0.60 percent to $94.15 in after-hours trading.
Microsoft Misses EPS, Beats Revenue
Also after the closing bell, Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) reported fiscal 2014 fourth quarter earnings of 55 cents a share on revenue of $23.38 billion, compared with a profit of 59 cents a share on sales of $19.9 billion in the year-ago period.
The software giant’s quarterly EPS missed Wall Street expectations while revenue beat estimates.
Analysts on Wall Street had expected the software maker to post fourth-quarter earnings per share of 60 cents on revenue of $23 billion, according to analysts polled by Reuters.
Net income came in at 4.61 billion for the quarter ended June 30 from $4.97 billion a year earlier.
“The stock [Microsoft] has had a huge move in the last few months,” Newton said. “It’s gotten up to nearly $44 a share. It’s quite over bought, but long-term it’s quite bullish. It’s yet another example of these old technology companies that have broken out and are starting to show real signs of growth.”
Microsoft announced last week it would cut up to 18,000 jobs over the next year, or about 14 percent of the software giant’s workforce. Nearly two-thirds of the layoffs are expected to come from its phone and tablet staff. Former chief executive Steve Ballmer agreed to buy Nokia Corporation’s (NYSE:NOK) handset business last fall.
Microsoft acquired substantially all the Finnish phone maker’s handset business on April 25, 2014 for $7.2 billion, thereby increasing its employees by 25,000 to a total of nearly 127,000. As part of the Microsoft-Nokia deal, the software giant said it would also cut $600 million per year in costs within 18 months of closing the acquisition.
For the fourth quarter and fiscal year 2014, Microsoft said the results of the Nokia Devices and Services Acquisition contributed to revenue by $1.99 billion and gross margin by $54 million. There was an operating loss of $692 million and an EPS loss of 8 cents, respectively.
“I’m proud that our aggressive move to the cloud is paying off – our commercial cloud revenue doubled again this year to a $4.4 billion annual run rate,” Satya Nadella, chief executive officer of Microsoft, said in the company’s fourth-quarter earnings statement.
Nadella, who took over from Ballmer in February, said in an email to employees last week that the company is realigning its structure and making reductions to “simplify” work and integrate the Nokia Devices and Services teams into Microsoft. The company will take a restructuring charge of $1.1 billion to $1.6 billion over the next four quarters.
“When you look at the CEO being a little more analytically minded and not really as blunt as maybe Ballmer or Gates, his message has been more toward productivity and really trying to focus on the platform,” Newton said. “That should be interesting going forward seeing how they can deliver.”
For Microsoft’s fiscal year 2014, the company reported revenue of $86.83 billion, net income of $22.1 billion and earnings per share of $2.63.
Shares of Microsoft rose over 1 percent to $45.40 in extended-hours trading.