Earnings season will soon be ramping up, giving investors a timely glimpse into how companies' financials are faring as the economy reopens. In addition, many companies will be up against interesting, pandemic-stricken year-ago comparisons, making these quarterly updates even more unique.
Reporting its first-quarter results on April 20, the pressure is on for Netflix to set the tone for earnings season.
The company reported a strong fourth quarter, growing its base of paid subscribers by 8.5 million during the period. More importantly, Netflix wrapped up an unprecedented year in which it added nearly 37 million subscribers during a single year. This put total subscribers at about 210 million.
For the company's first quarter of 2021, management guided for 6 million new members. While this guidance is strong relative to typical Q1 guidance, it's far behind the incredible 16 million new members Netflix added in the first quarter of 2020. Consumers flocked to their TVs in toward the end of Q1 last year as lockdowns were enforced and people looked for ways to stay entertained at home.
Investors should watch closely to see if any potential increased churn following the abnormal growth the company saw in 2020 could make hitting management's guidance more difficult than expected.
Apple reports its fiscal second-quarter results on April 28.
The company will be up against a relatively easy comparison in the year-ago period, when revenue rose just 1% year over year. With such an easy comparison, analysts expect sharp top-line growth during the period. Specifically, the consensus analyst estimate calls for revenue to increase 32% year over year to $77 billion.
Apple's fiscal second quarter is historically a big quarter for the company, as it's typically the company's first full quarter of sales of its latest iPhone releases. This is certainly the case for this year's fiscal second quarter; Apple released its iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro in October 2020, and it started shipping its iPhone 12 Pro Max and iPhone mini in November 2020. Analysts seem to be expecting the new iPhones and other recent product releases, as well as further growth in Apple's services segment, to help power an exceptional quarter.
Investors can tune into Netflix's earnings report after market close on Tuesday, April 20, and Apple's on Wednesday, April 28.