Make Way for Tech Earnings: IBM, Yahoo, Apple and Microsoft on Deck
Here come more tech earnings this week, as investors hope the industry can help goose a still shaky economy.
But while the tech industry is healthy, relatively speaking, they probably should not hope too hard to be soaring anytime soon on Silicon Valley’s digital flying carpet.
Last week, Intel (INTC) and Nokia (NOK) both turned in not-so-pretty performances, due to the econalypse, although management was hoping for better days ahead.
Google (GOOG), as it is wont to do, surprised Wall Street with its surprise profit performance, although its sales juggernaut was showing some serious signs of wheezing.
But that was so last week.
IBM (IBM) is first out of the gate today, with analysts expecting a slight earnings increase on declining revenue from a year ago. As long as the tech giant reports a “meh” and not an “ugh,” all will be right here.
Yahoo (YHOO), on the other hand, will get a much closer look-see tomorrow, as most are guessing that its online advertising business has been hard hit and that its previous cost-cutting has not yet made enough of a difference.
In fact, no one is expecting much at all from Yahoo, other than a huge dropoff–almost 30 percent–in profits and a large one–just over 10 percent–in revenues. Ouch!
Most of the questions about Yahoo will likely focus will be on three things:
1.) Whether Yahoo will make an announcement about additional cost cuts, specifically, more layoffs.
2.) Whether CEO Carol Bartz will answer any questions about discussions with Microsoft about search and ad partnership discussions.
3.) What folksy or ribald phrase Bartz will use to describe Yahoo’s current state. Her last one using attack chickens was most excellent.
Apple (AAPL) will report Wednesday and it will likely be all about the iPhone, the exploding apps ecosystem and whether the company can keep on selling its computers in a down economy.
One wonders if someone will ask for a reaction about those new Microsoft commercials, which loudly pointing out how much pricier Apple products are.
Earnings are expected to decline slightly with revenues up slightly.
And, of course, the health of Apple leader Steve Jobs, who is on leave, will also be top of mind on the call, although it is unlikely that the company will comment, as usual.
Lastly, this week, Microsoft (MSFT) will also weigh in on Thursday, with everyone wondering how its powerful main software business is doing, as well as how its less-than-powerful online business is faring.
Also critical will be the company’s outlook on the upcoming rollouts of its redone search service and its Windows 7 launch.
Both earnings and revenue are expected to be down slightly for Microsoft.
But, in this quarter at least, down slightly is the new up.