As earnings season revved up early this week, streaming-video giant Netflix grabbed the market's attention when its second-quarter member growth came in 1 million subscriptions short of management's guidance -- a miss on a key metric that sent its shares down about 5%. The earnings action continues Wednesday and Thursday as two more major tech companies gear up to release their latest quarterly results.

Online marketplace eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) is scheduled to give its second-quarter update after market close on Wednesday, and Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) fiscal fourth-quarter results are set to be released after the close on Thursday. Here's an overview of what to expect, as well as one key metric investors may want to focus on for each.

eBay offices in San Jose, California

Image source: eBay.


For eBay's second quarter, analysts are expecting revenue of $2.66 billion and non-GAAP earnings per share of $0.51. That would amount to a 14% year-over-year increase in revenue, and a 13% rise in non-GAAP earnings per share.

However, eBay's revenue growth has been benefiting significantly from favorable foreign exchange rates. In Q1, for instance, revenue rose 12% year over year, but increased only 7% on a foreign exchange neutral basis. A similar result is expected in Q2, so investors should look to the company's currency-adjusted revenue growth rate to get a better idea of how eBay is actually faring. On a foreign exchange neutral basis, expect Q2 revenue growth to be in line with Q1 growth.

One key metric to watch when eBay reports its quarterly results is revenue guidance. Amazon has been rapidly increasing its share of the e-commerce market every quarter, and some experts worry its gains could start putting a damper on eBay's growth. This may cause some investors to worry that a deceleration in revenue growth is inevitable in the coming quarters. On the other hand, eBay is in the midst of a multiyear transformation to improve its customer experience and sharpen its brand, and there is reason to expect that will pay off in accelerating revenue growth.

Investors should look for guidance for Q3 year-over-year revenue growth of at least 6% when excluding the impacts of foreign currency exchanges.


Software giant Microsoft has produced significant momentum recently as it morphs its legacy Office products into recurring cloud-based revenue streams, and grows its enterprise cloud-based services such as Azure and Dynamics 365. The impressiveness of its evolution is best evidenced in the company's soaring commercial cloud revenue -- i.e., cloud-based revenue primarily from Office 365 commercial, Azure, and Dynamics 365. Revenue in that category increased 58% year over year in fiscal Q3, and served as a primary driver of the company's double-digit-percentage revenue and operating income growth during the period. 

Visitor's center at Microsoft's headquarters

Image source: Microsoft.

For Microsoft's fiscal Q4 revenue and earnings per share, the analysts' consensus estimates are for $29.2 billion and $1.08, respectively. But given that commercial cloud revenue growth is driving the bulk of Microsoft's overall growth, this is the key metric investors should watch. In the last two quarters, year-over-year growth came in at 56% and 58%, and investors should look for a similar result this time.