Earnings season was in full force this week as technology sector giant Microsoft Corporation kicks off with quarterly results after the closing bell Monday. Meanwhile, iPhone maker Apple Inc. and Yahoo! Inc. will follow suit Tuesday, followed by social networking company Facebook Inc. Wednesday.
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is scheduled to issue its second quarterly report Thursday since going public in September. Internet giant Google Inc. will post results Thursday, along with online retail giant Amazon.com Inc.
This week marks the pinnacle earnings season for the Standard & Poor's 500, as 140 companies are scheduled to report. Thus far, 73 companies have released results. Of those 52 percent have beaten earnings per share consensus and only 43 percent have beaten on revenues, according to research firm Estimize.
Expectations for S&P 500 earnings growth for the fourth quarter stand at 5 percent with revenues anticipated to come in with 1.2 percent growth. Information technology has moved into the third spot for highest sector growth for the fourth quarter, and Estimize expects the sector’s net income to grow 12.3 percent and sales to increase 7 percent.
Driving growth in the tech space is the semiconductor industry, poised to increase profits by 30.1 percent and revenues by 14.8 percent year-over-year, followed by the Internet software and services industry, which is estimated to post earnings per share growth of 19 percent and revenue growth of 12.3 percent. The “weakest link” among information technology sectors this quarter, according to Estimize, is software, with earnings per share expected to be down 7.6 percent from the year-ago quarter.
Here’s a deeper look at the tech companies reporting this week.
After the U.S. financial markets close Monday, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) will issue quarterly earnings. The world's largest software company beat expectations in the previous quarter and tallied record first-quarter sales, driven by the company’s cloud strength and hardware progress.
“The biggest challenge for Microsoft is turning around the Nokia and mobile business in the right direction as this remains an overhang on the name and a barrier to penetrating the golden goose of consumer spending,” Daniel Ives, an analyst at FBR Capital Markets & Co., told International Business Times following the company’s first quarter earnings report Oct. 23.
Wall Street expects Microsoft to report fiscal second-quarter net income of $5.91 billion, or earnings per share of 71 cents, on revenue of $26.34 billion, according to analysts polled by Thomson Reuters. That compares with a profit of $6.56 billion, or earnings per share of 78 cents, on revenue of $24.52 billion during the same period a year earlier.
In the last three months, shares of Microsoft have gained 1.25 percent to $47.42.
Tech giant Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will post quarterly results after the markets close Tuesday. The company smashed expectations for sales and profits in the previous quarter following the release of its iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.
Strength overseas has been a big part of Apple's success as international sales accounted for 60 percent of Apple’s fourth quarter revenue. Analysts will keep a close eye on how a strong U.S. dollar will affect the tech giant’s revenue and overall guidance for the current quarter.
Apple Inc. is expected to report fiscal first-quarter net income of $15.32 billion, or earnings per share of $2.57, on revenue of $67.5 billion, compared with a profit of $13.07 billion, or earnings per share of $2.07, on revenue of $57.59 billion a year ago.
In the last 3 months, shares of Apple have gained 8.06 percent to average $111.49 and in the last 12 months shares have soared 44.43 percent to average $94.27.
Following the closing bell Tuesday, Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) is expected to release its results. The Internet company’s previous quarterly earnings and revenue beat analysts' expectations in October. Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer said in October the company's search business is growing at a 6 percent annual pace and expects gross revenue in mobile will exceed $1.2 billion this year.
Analysts will be eyeing the Sunnyvale, California, company’s mobile advertising growth for the fourth quarter, as Yahoo! is expected to pass Twitter Inc. in the U.S. mobile advertising space in 2015, according to eMarketer. The research firm estimates the company will take nearly 3.2 percent of the $18.99 billion U.S. mobile advertising market in 2014, and will account for 3.74 percent of the country’s mobile ad market, pushing Yahoo! past Twitter for the first time. Yahoo! is forecast to take a 3.69 percent share in 2015, eMarketer said.
Yahoo! is expected to report fiscal fourth-quarter net income of $277.33 million, or earnings per share of 19 cents, on revenue of $1.19 billion, compared with $481.94 million, or earnings per share of 33 cents, on revenue of $1.2 billion a year earlier.
Shares of Yahoo! have jumped 10.4 percent to $49.44 in the last three months, and have gained 34.65 percent to average $39.98 in the last 12 months.
Social networking giant Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) will post quarterly results after the closing bell Wednesday. Facebook reported quarterly earnings and revenue that beat analysts' expectations in October, but shares of the company initially fell more than 10 percent following the report after the company expected expenses would increase 50 percent to 70 percent in the next year as it looks to invest in new areas, such as video.
Wall Street projects Facebook to report fiscal fourth-quarter net income $1.4 billion, or earnings per share of 25 cents, on revenue of $3.78 billion, compared with a profit of $780 million, or earnings per share of 20 cents, on revenue of $2.59 billion a year ago.
In the last three months, shares of Facebook have fallen 3.11 percent to $76.56, but in the last 12 months shares of the company have soared 45.26 percent to average $70.02.
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE:BABA) will release results before the opening bell Thursday, its second report following its massive $25 billion initial public offering in September. In November, Alibaba posted quarterly earnings for the July-to-September period that were in line with expectations while revenue surged 54 percent from a year earlier, mainly driven by growth in online marketing service and commission revenue.
During its earnings call with shareholders Nov. 4, Alibaba made a huge revelation, saying it may try to take on Google Inc. in China. Executive Vice Chairman Joe Tsai said the Chinese e-commerce giant is planning a "long-term" effort to build out its experimental mobile phone operating system to become a competitor to Google’s Android operating system.
Wall Street expects Alibaba to report fiscal third-quarter net income of $1.9 billion, or earnings per share of 56 cents, on revenue of $4.45 billion. Following the company’s last quarterly earnings report, shares of Alibaba have gained 6.07 percent to $106.49.
After markets close Thursday, Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG) is slated to post earnings. The company turned in weaker-than-expected results for the third quarter.
Investors will be eyeing the search giant's long-term growth prospects as its core business remains advertising. Google’s cost per click, or how much it earns when a user clicks its advertisements, continued to fall in the previous quarter, dropping 2 percent year over year.
Fiscal fourth-quarter net income of $4.95 billion, or earnings per share of $5.75, on revenue of $18.47 billion, compared with a profit of $4.1 billion, or earnings per share of $4.95, on revenue of $16.86 billion a year earlier.
In the last three months, Google’s (GOOGL) Class A shares have fallen 2.67 percent to $534.98, while the company’s Class C shares (GOOG) have dropped 1.38 percent to $528.70.
Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) will turn in results after the closing bell Thursday after missing Wall Street estimates in the previous quarter, warning investors of weaker-than-expected sales for the holiday quarter. Investors will be watching how the Internet giant performed overall during the holiday quarter after heightened competition from other retailers such as Target Corporation and Best Buy. Analysts will also be watching for how Amazon plans to lower its shipping losses.
Fiscal fourth-quarter net income of $90.33 million, or earnings per share 18 cents, on revenue $29.7 billion, compared with $239 million, or earnings per share of 51 cents, on revenue of $25.59 billion a year earlier.
Shares of Amazon have gained 6.81 percent to $308.24 in the last three months while shares have dropped 19.79 percent to average $326.25 in the last year.