Last week, earnings season surfaced a few massive surprises. Namely, Facebook and Amazon both saw their stocks soar after posting better-than-expected first-quarter results. This week's lineup for earnings season could easily bring more big swings in either direction. After market close today, investors will look for Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) to prove its iPhone business is still growing. Tomorrow, investors will watch for Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) to show signs of big progress on its important Model 3 production ramp-up.
Ahead of these two companies' earnings reports, here's a quick look at what to expect from each of them.
Apple: Can growth accelerate again?
Though Apple's iPhone sales have been a cause for concern recently as speculation mounts that unit sales are turning out to be worse than expected during the company's fiscal third quarter (currently underway), there's still reason to expect strong growth at least in Apple's fiscal second quarter. After all, the midpoint of Apple's guidance range for second-quarter revenue implied 15% year-over-year revenue growth. This would mark an acceleration from the 13% revenue growth Apple posted in its first quarter.
Two areas of Apple's business that have seen particularly strong growth recently are services and other products. Adjusted to exclude the impact of an extra week in the year-ago quarter, revenue in Apple's services and other products segments increased 27% and 47% year over year, respectively, in Q1. Together, these two segments account for nearly 20% of Apple's trailing-12-month revenue -- large enough to give the company's overall revenue growth a material boost. Investors should look for more strong growth from both of these segments in Apple's second quarter.
Finally, investors will want to keep an eye on Apple's capital return program. After the U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enabled Apple to repatriate boatloads of overseas cash, expectations are high for the company to announce a significantly larger capital return program. At the end of Apple's fiscal first quarter, there was just $34 billion left of the company's current $210 billion buyback program, making it the perfect time for the tech giant to increase its authorization for repurchases.
Tesla: All eyes on Model 3 production
Tesla investors can expect yet another wide loss, despite the company's strong growth in vehicle deliveries on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts are expecting Tesla to report a loss per share of $3.28, worse than its loss per share in the year-ago quarter of $1.33 but narrower than its $4.01 loss per share in the fourth quarter of 2017. Tesla's significant losses are driven by the high costs associated with ramping up Model 3 production.
Of course, though Model 3 production is weighing on profitability today, management expects Model 3 sales to contribute meaningfully to operating cash flow and profitability after the important vehicle's production rate improves. This is why investors will be watching guidance closely when Tesla reports its first-quarter results. Specifically, investors should look for Tesla to maintain its outlook to achieve a weekly production rate for Model 3 of about 5,000 units per week around the end of its second quarter. Tesla has stated that once its Model 3 production stabilizes at this level, the company will have reached the economies of scale to achieve sustainable profitability. On a similar note, investors should look for management to maintain its outlook for profitability in the third and fourth quarters.