Watch Out for These 3 Earnings Reports

The next earnings season is only a few weeks away. A number of companies have racked up important questions since their last report, and I'm looking forward to their upcoming updates. Here's a smattering of the most important, or intriguing, questions that I'm hoping to see answered fairly soon, culled from my regular tech sector beat

BlackBerry (NASDAQ: BBRY  ) tops the list for me. The company formerly known as Research In Motion will report its first quarter, where its brand new BlackBerry 10 platform can make a meaningful impact on results. Fans of the company like to argue that the Z10 and Q10 handsets are selling like hotcakes, and some market reports will reinforce that opinion. Then again, other reports and analyst deep-dives into the handset flows come up with exactly the opposite conclusion.

Selling a ton of Z10 and Q10 smartphones is not an optional little bonus for BlackBerry. This is a do-or-die, make-or-break situation, and the company is in real trouble if these products don't perform. CEO Thorsten Heins expects to sell "tens of millions" of his new devices in 2013, including about 3.5 million in the May quarter.

I'm a skeptic, and would be very surprised to see BlackBerry's shares ever above January's $17.90 highs ever again. This is where the Canadians might get to prove me wrong.

BlackBerry even gets the party started early by reporting on June 28, which is about three weeks before the real bulk action begins in mid-July.

TIBCO Software (NASDAQ: TIBX  ) also reports in the lull between big-volume earnings seasons, and is expected to drop a second-quarter update on June 20. This is a stock that I own, but Tibco has not been a smooth operator in recent quarters. I'd love to see an end to this rocky road.

It's been about a year since Tibco cut loose its head of North American sales, and announced a major reorganization of that division. And we're still waiting for a turnaround to this "disappointing" operation, in CEO Vivek Ranadive's own words. In the March report, CFO Murray Rhode once again told us that all is not well: "The Americas infrastructure business is clearly not back on track quite yet, but we have made and continue to make good progress against our plans," he said.

The next day, Tibco shares were suddenly 9.4% cheaper. The stock is still trading near 52-week and multi-year lows. If you bought Tibco near the end of 2010, you could have a break-even performance on your hands right now. Hardly exciting, and not what you'd expect out of a pioneer and leader in the booming market for Big Data specialists.

I'm hoping for a bad chapter in Tibco's history to be closed this month. Every quarter of underperforming sales teams leaves another few million of potential sales on the table.

And, of course, I'm on pins and needles for the next Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX  ) report. The digital video veteran reports second-quarter results on July 24, in the thick of the real earnings season, and there are plenty of questions to address.

How are Netflix's original shows doing? This will be the first full quarter with Kevin Spacey drama House of Cards, and horror thriller Hemlock Grove, in the catalog, and revived cult comedy Arrested Development scores about half a quarter of on-screen impact. All of these shows most likely attracted a large number of fresh customers; but were these temporary boosts or long-term subscribers in the making?

Image source: Netflix.

Based on whatever these early tries at original content are doing, will Netflix step up its production plans -- or maybe scale them down?

We've been told that another European market will jump on the Netflix bandwagon before 2013 is over. Will we learn anything new about the timetable, expansion plans for 2014 and beyond, or the identity of the next market?

Last year's July report crushed Netflix's already marked-down share prices, mostly due to a big misunderstanding about seasonal effects. I expect most of the questions above to get favorable responses, but I don't necessarily expect CEO Reed Hastings to spill all his beans in July. So it looks like a blend of strong results and limited strategic guidance, just like last year. The market reaction to a mix like that is wildly unpredictable. This quarter probably won't change the long-term story for Netflix investors, but there might be big price swing in the offing. Up or down is hard to tell. Stay on your toes, and prepare to get opportunistic.

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Read/Post Comments (5) | Recommend This Article (3)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On June 07, 2013, at 4:29 PM, Oril wrote:

    I can understand how you hate Canadians so much since you live in Florida and only come in contact with the geriatric ones but when you bring your prejudices to an international company like Blackberry you are just being foolish. And ignorant.

    Also when you link to another one of your own negative articles to justify an 'exactly opposite view' it just makes you look stupid as well. Try getting out of Florida and see a bit of the world and you will realize that Blackberry is well received.

  • Report this Comment On June 07, 2013, at 5:52 PM, gettmoney wrote:

    Well...Oril...said enough for me...long bbry

  • Report this Comment On June 08, 2013, at 12:33 PM, misledbyfools wrote:

    Maybe BBRY never tops $18 this year.....so what as it would still be wiping the floor with your Apple stock.

    Almost 200% gains in 18 months would be incredible returns so you the author are mentally challenged as a person who comments on stocks.

    BBRY is already a winner since last year. Apple stock however is a big loser since last year.

    In the end, the Chinese phones will hurt our tech companies so trade tech stocks.

  • Report this Comment On June 08, 2013, at 2:08 PM, misledbyfools wrote:

    Here is some other research as quoted above.

    http://gs.statcounter.com/#mobile_os-ww-weekly-201323-201323...

    for worldwide and below for US only

    http://gs.statcounter.com/#mobile_os-US-weekly-201323-201323...

    So windows and blackberry have been neck and neck in the US.

    In the world including the US, (although some think that the US is the world) ......BB is 2.5 X more than windows.

    The data is similar for the out of data time period of the research referenced in this article, so chew on that.

    Article headline should read.....

    "WINDOWS AND BLACKBERRY STILL NECK AND NECK IN THE USA"

    followed by.......

    "WINDOWS STILL WELL BACK OF BLACKBERRY WORLDWIDE"

    Anyway, whatever data this Kanatar Worldpanel had for April 2013, it is outdated and well behind the curve to be useful regarding the stock. Keep in mind that the out of date data they release for free to the public serves their paying customers only and they received the data months ago. Do not let this data from Kanatar influence your stock decisions now.

  • Report this Comment On June 10, 2013, at 9:51 PM, CZZZZZZ wrote:

    re: I'm a skeptic, and would be very surprised to see BlackBerry's shares ever above January's $17.90 highs ever again

    Let me go out on a limb, you were buying Apple at $750 and selling Blackberry at $7 last fall too?

    Listening to the Fool trash BBRY during its last 100-200% gain while supporting Apple all the way down has been embarrassing to this website.

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