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After a pretty middling day in which the Nasdaq closed up a mere 0.07% on little tech news, after the bell several companies lined up to report earnings. Let's take a quick check-up on who reported and whether Wall Street has its drops and pops right.
The most notable after-hours report was Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN ) . The company has been sacrificing margins recently as it reinvests in key initiatives, but in a surprise move Wall Street contented itself with Amazon's heady top-line growth. However, today's warning of a possible operating profit next quarter was finally too much for Wall Street to handle. Amazon shares are down nearly 9% after-hours.
I have to admit, it is troubling that Amazon's forecast for first-quarter sales is far less than expectations. The company is expecting $12 billion to $13.4 billion next quarter. On the very high end, that'd reach analyst expectations. On the low end, it would represent only 22% growth, which would be a low figure for a company trading at a P/E passing 100 times earnings.
Still, in the long run Amazon's earnings don't say much about the direction of the company. Amazon remains cagey about the specifics of Kindle sales, though most signs point to the Kindle Fire taking a safe number-two position in the tablet market. In addition, Amazon tends to lowball operating income guidance. They had predicted operating income could have been as low as a $200 million loss last quarter, but it came in at $260 million in profits. Whether you were an Amazon bull or bear before the earnings, there shouldn't be much inside the company's filings to sway your opinion.
Broadcom is up about 2.5% after-hours after posting an EPS of $0.68, which came in ahead of analyst expectations of $0.65. Revenues beat expectations as well and the company guided slightly ahead of Wall Street's expectations. The company highlighted strength in 3G basebands and wireless connectivity to companies with strong emerging-market exposure like ZTE and Foxlink. That could actually be a positive sign for Qualcomm (Nasdaq: QCOM ) , which is the dominant baseband player and reports after the bell tomorrow.
Despite seeing an initial drop when it reported earnings, Seagate has turned back positive. The driving factor in Seagate's 6% gain after-hours is extremely strong guidance for the company's fourth quarter, which closes at the end of June. Seagate has been on a roll recently and has outperformed hard-disk peer Western Digital (NYSE: WDC ) by a whopping 44% over the past year! Uncertainty has defined the hard-drive market after Thai floods ravaged production in December, but Seagate appears to be moving on fine. The company's forecast of $20 billion in sales across 2012 left analysts in a rush to quickly update their models, since Seagate produced just $11.6 billion in sales during 2011. While that future revenue haul is inflated by Seagate digesting Samsung's hard-disk business, it also points to Seagate predicting a much brighter future for its hard drives than Wall Street currently expects.
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