Under the Surface: Microsoft Q3 Earnings Could Hinge on PC Decline Impact
After a series of recent reports outlining the massive decline of PC sales, the possible impact will be the focus of investors when Microsoft reports its third-quarter earnings later today after the markets close.
How badly the drop in sales of desktop and laptop devices in favor of consumer defections to smartphones and tablets has hurt the software giant has been a concern of Wall Street, so any signs of trouble will be closely watched. That’s especially true since it will be the first full quarter of sales for its flagship reboot of its key operating system, Windows 8.
Another worry: News of how well Microsoft’s high-profile Surface tablets are doing, as well as any more insight about its Windows Phone efforts.
All the possible problems have caused estimates for Q3 to be pushed downward for Microsoft, with analysts expecting the company to earn 68 cents on $20.1 billion in revenue, compared to 60 cents on $17.4 billion in the same period a year ago.
Also of interest will be any news about the company’s new version of its Xbox game player, as well as improvements in its business offerings, especially related to cloud services.
But it’s clear that analysts are not bullish on the stock right now, and they are worried about a miss. Microsoft shares are down close to 5 percent this week, to close yesterday at $28.83.