After a late June rally, the Nasdaq is back in positive territory for the year. However, as evidenced by chip-equipment maker Novellus Systems'
With that in mind, we're taking a look at three companies reporting earnings that technology investors should be watching. These reports could say quite a bit about the businesses as they go forward.
Fool contributor and Rule Breakers analyst Tim Beyers
Fools who were bearish on Akamai
Why? Management said back in February to expect accelerating growth heading into the second half … and now that we're in the second half, I expect strong guidance. Streaming volume should be up -- helped by a re-up of its relationship with Netflix
There's also e-commerce and mobile to consider. A new survey from the Pew Research Center finds that 35% of Americans now own a smartphone. Of this group, 87% access the Web or email on their device with 68% using these services daily.
With so much complex information flowing over the Web to so many devices, I find it difficult to envision a scenario in which Akamai's network isn't delivering record amounts of data. So you might say I'm sticking with the horse I rode in on eight years ago. (Akamai was the subject of my first article for the Fool.) Maybe that's naive, but in my experience, Akamai's managers tend to make good on their pledges. I think they will again.
Fool contributor Anders Bylund
There's an oft-overlooked player in the smartphone wars that should treat investors very well over the next couple of years. Lost in the shadow of early mobile-chip technology leader ARM Holdings
Sure, nearly every smartphone on the market today sports an ARM-based design. The British technologist is nearly 10 times the size of MIPS in terms of sales and income, so why should you care about the smaller company?
Simply put, you'd be investing at the ground floor of a potential rocket ride that should mirror that of ARM closely. MIPS chips are only now making their way into Android phones and tablets, contributing to the company's sales for the first time in the quarter that ended this March. There's no denying the power of a first-mover advantage, but MIPS is starting from exceedingly low expectations here after a couple of disappointing earnings reports.
That gives investors a large margin of error and plenty of room to grow. You can buy MIPS shares for less than 15 times trailing earnings today (yes, the company is profitable) while ARM trades for nearly 100 times earnings. Given that much of ARM's early success is already priced into the stock, which chip technologist would you rather own?
Both companies report results on July 26 -- ARM in the morning and MIPS at night. We'll hear more about MIPS' Android uptake, and I think it'll be good news this time.
Fool editor and contributor Eric Bleeker
As noted by my colleague Rick Munarriz earlier today, analysts are not upbeat about Thursday's second-quarter report from Google
However, Google is also known to drop valuable nuggets of information in its earnings releases and subsequent earnings calls, like YouTube revenue growth, mobile advertising revenue, and more information on display advertising revenue growth. I wouldn't be surprised to see Google add a layer of discussion concerning its newer social programs like Google+.
So whether you see Google's increased spending as a good long-term defense of its core search business or a potential wasteful distraction, answers should come this Thursday. If you're taking a look at investing in Google, this is one report you should keep an eye on.
To keep updated on any of the companies above, make sure to add them to our free watchlist service which gives you up-to-date news on all your favorite companies:
Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team. He owned shares of Apple and Akamai at the time of publication. Anders Bylund owns shares of Netflix. Eric Bleeker owns no shares of any companies listed above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Google and Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Apple, Google, Akamai, and Netflix. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a bull call spread position in Apple and buying puts in Netflix. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. In case you hadn't noticed, The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.