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3 Technology Earnings Previews for Apr 21: GOOGL, MSFT & AMD

As earnings releases pick up pace this week, all eyes will be on tech bigwigs including Alphabet Inc. GOOGL, Microsoft Corporation MSFT and Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. AMD.

The earnings scenario for the overall Technology sector remains gloomy with the Zacks Earnings Trend predicting a 6.7% year-over-year decline in the quarter. However, we expect the software industry to surpass estimates, mirroring the performance of the preceding two quarters, wherein it registered year-over-year earnings growth of 9.7% and 7.6%.

Let’s see what’s in store for three major software stocks, each of which is scheduled to release its first-quarter numbers on Thursday, Apr 21.

Alphabet, a leading provider of Internet products, will report first quarter 2016 results. For the quarter, Alphabet has an Earnings ESP of +4.87% and it carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the quarter is pegged at $6.36.

Last quarter, the company posted a positive earnings surprise of 6.17%. Notably, the company has missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate thrice in the preceding four quarters, resulting in a negative average surprise of 2.28%.

The company’s strength in mobile is likely to continue given that Google is the default search on Android and iOS devices (which means practically every smartphone device). The core advertising business is facing tough competition but is likely to grow in terms of volume as Google appears to be sacrificing prices in the bargain. As far as YouTube is concerned, Google has both paid and free models so people can choose whatever system they like. For the free model, management expects its TrueView ads to continue to do well. (Read more: Alphabet 1Q Earnings Preview: Looking For A Beat)

Microsoft, a leading software company, will report third-quarter fiscal 2016. With the Zacks Consensus Estimate pegged at 63 cents, the company has an Earnings ESP of -1.59% and Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Last quarter, the company recorded a positive earnings surprise of 13.04%. Notably, Microsoft outperformed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in all of the trailing four quarters, with an average positive surprise of 15.21%.

Cloud computing is an area of focus for this quarter and the company is expected to do well in this area. However, the gaming business is likely to be sluggish as it is not an area of focus. Macro concerns will stay since dollar remains strong. (Read more: Microsoft 3Q Earnings Preview: Watch Cloud, Productivity)

Advanced Micro Devices,a leading provider of microprocessor solutions, will report first quarter 2016 results.  The company has an Earnings ESP of -6.67% and a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell). The Zacks Consensus Estimate is pegged at a loss of 15 cents.

Last quarter, Advanced Micro Devices’ earnings matched the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Notably, the company has missed the consensus mark thrice in the preceding four quarters resulting in a negative average surprise of 38.36%.

The decline in global PC demand, which affected fourth-quarter results, will again be reflected in its performance in the to-be-reported quarter. The company expects lower demand for graphic chips used in consoles due to seasonality and a 14% sequentially (+/- 3%) decline in revenues following the economic slowdown in China. (Read more: Advanced Micro: A Weak Earnings Season Yet Again?)

Stay tuned! We will be following up with earnings reports on these stocks.

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MICROSOFT CORP (MSFT): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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