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Will Microsoft Earnings Cast a Cloud Over These ETFs

The world's largest software maker Microsoft (MSFT) reported disappointing fiscal third-quarter 2016 results after the markets closed yesterday. Investors reacted negatively to the news with the stock declining 4.7% in after-market trading.
The Q1 earnings season has been a letdown for the technology sector with weak earnings reports from International Business Machines (IBM) and Netflix (NFLX) triggering a sell-off earlier in the week. Recently released, Alphabet Inc.’s (GOOGL) earnings weren’t encouraging either. As per Zacks Earnings Trend report, the tech sector is expected to post an earnings decline of 5.8% in the first quarter compared with a decline of 1.3% in fourth-quarter 2015 (read: How Will Technology ETFs Perform As Q1 Unfolds?).
Microsoft Earnings in Focus
Microsoft’s earnings per share came in at 62 cents, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 63 cents by a penny but in line with the year-ago quarter. Revenues fell 6% year over year to $20.5 billion and fell short of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $21.6 billion.
Lower-than-expected results can be blamed on a catch-up tax adjustment to account for an expected increase in the full year effective tax rate, primarily due to the changing mix of revenues across geographies and between cloud services and software licensing.
Nevertheless, the long-term outlook for the company remains promising given its transition from the traditional software business to cloud services and mobile applications including Azure, Office 365 and Dynamics CRM Online. The company is expected see acceleration in revenue and earnings over the coming quarters, driven by the lower costs of the cloud transition.
Microsoft currently has a decent Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). However, given the disappointing earnings reported by the company, it is likely to witness rough trading in upcoming session. Thus, ETFs with high exposure to this tech behemoth could come under pressure. Below, we have highlighted four such ETFs (see: all the Technology ETFs here).
ETFs in Focus
iShares Dow Jones US Technology ETF (IYW)
This ETF tracks the Dow Jones US Technology Index, giving investors exposure to 141 technology stocks. The fund has AUM of $2.5 billion while charging 44 bps in fees and expenses. Volume is good as it exchanges nearly 267,000 shares in hand a day. Microsoft occupies the second position in the basket with 12.5% of assets. More than half of the portfolio is allocated to software and services while technology hardware and equipment accounts for 28.8% share.
Select Sector SPDR Technology ETF (XLK)
This is one of the popular technology ETFs following the Technology Select Sector Index and has $13.9 billion in AUM. This fund trades in heavy volume of roughly 12.2 million shares and charges 14 bps in fees per year from investors. In total, the fund holds about 73 securities in its basket. Of these firms, MSFT takes the second spot, making up roughly 10.5% of the assets. In terms of industrial exposure, the fund is widely spread across software, Internet software & equipment and diversified telecom services that make up for a double-digit allocation each (read: 4 Best Tech Stocks for Momentum Investors Right Now).
Vanguard Information Technology ETF (VGT)
This fund manages about $8.6 billion in its asset base and provides exposure to a large basket of 381 technology stocks by tracking the MSCI US Investable Market Information Technology 25/50 Index. The ETF has 0.10% in expense ratio while volume is good at nearly 410,000 shares. Here, Microsoft takes the third spot with 9.5% allocation. The product is well spread out across a number of sectors with Internet software & services, hardware & storage, system software, data processing & outsourced services, and semiconductors accounting for a double-digit allocation each.
MSCI Information Technology Index ETF (FTEC)
This fund provides exposure to a large basket of 391 technology stocks with AUM of $392.9 million. This is done by tracking the MSCI USA IMI Information Technology Index. Here too, MSFT occupies the second spot with 9.6% allocation. From a sector perspective, the product is widely diversified across software, Internet software & services, IT services, technology hardware storage & peripherals, and semiconductors & semiconductor equipment with double-digit exposure each. The ETF has an expense ratio of 0.12% while volume is good at 195,000 shares a day (read: A Wearable Technology ETF on the Cards?).
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ALPHABET INC-A (GOOGL): Free Stock Analysis Report
INTL BUS MACH (IBM): Free Stock Analysis Report
NETFLIX INC (NFLX): Free Stock Analysis Report
MICROSOFT CORP (MSFT): Free Stock Analysis Report
ISHARS-US TECH (IYW): ETF Research Reports
FID-INFOTEC (FTEC): ETF Research Reports
VIPERS-INFO TEC (VGT): ETF Research Reports
SPDR-TECH SELS (XLK): ETF Research Reports
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