As the coronavirus pandemic drags on and the stock market remains significantly below recent lows, investors will be watching quarterly updates closely this earnings season for several reasons. First of all, many investors will be looking to assess the damage COVID-19 has done to the companies they own, as well as how management plans to address the situation. Second, investors will probably be on the lookout for good buying opportunities.
In April, it will be worth watching the earnings reports of Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) and Twitter (NYSE:TWTR). Even though Netflix shares are trading lower than they were in February, the streaming company may actually see a boost in users and revenue as more people are staying home. Meanwhile, social-network Twitter's ad revenue will likely take a hit.
Here's a quick preview of both companies' earnings reports.
Netflix is scheduled to report its first-quarter results on April 21, making it one of the first companies to report its quarterly results this earnings season. But the narrative in Netflix's earnings report may not be as gloomy as it will be for many other companies.
TV streaming toward the end of March jumped sharply, according to data from research firm Comscore. Specifically, Comscore estimates connected TV streaming hours increased 24% year over year between March 1 and March 16. And with increasingly more people in self-quarantine, growth in streaming hours may have accelerated during the second half of March.
Since Netflix has a trial period for new users, the impact of more consumers staying at home will likely have a bigger impact on Netflix's second-quarter subscriber numbers than it does on Q1's. However, a likely improvement in subscriber churn during the period may help boost the company's reported paying members.
Netflix guided for total paid net member additions in Q1 to come in at 7 million. But investors are likely expecting a higher figure.
Management had forecast first-quarter revenue of $5.73 billion, representing 26.8% year-over-year growth. But investors should similarly look for outperformance on this figure.
Unlike Netflix, Twitter's revenue will likely be negatively impacted by this environment. Indeed, Twitter already announced that its first-quarter top line will likely miss its guidance for 5% to 12% year-over-year growth, as some advertisers cut their spending to cope with store closures and other challenges amid this pandemic. Management is now expecting a slight year-over-year decline in revenue.
But one positive impact the current environment is having on Twitter's business is a surge in daily active users. Twitter's monetizable daily active users were up 23% year over year when there was still a week left in the quarter.
When the company reports earnings on April 30, investors should look for an update on how advertising spend is faring so far in Q2.