According to futures markets, stocks are slated to move higher following a batch of encouraging earnings reports yesterday, most notably from the technology sector. Expectations for the tech sector were extremely low going into this season, and it appears that the environment isn't as bad as analysts were predicting. With encouraging reports from the likes of Qualcomm, eBay, and IBM yesterday after the close, we'll see if tech can keep its rally alive today following another round of high-profile earnings reports from Microsoft
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For Microsoft, analysts are expecting revenue growth of 4% and along with an earnings per share decline of 10% to $0.62. The story for Microsoft really begins later this year, specifically on Oct. 26, the just-announced release date for its Windows 8 operating system. The public reception for Windows 8, along with its own Surface tablets and other devices running the OS, will largely determine whether Microsoft meets expectations for near-10% revenue growth in the fiscal year that began July 1.
Analysts are looking for Google to post revenue of $8.41 billion and EPS of $10.04, up 21% and 15%, respectively. This is Google's first report since its acquisition of Motorola Mobility, and as a result the company will be changing its reporting conventions to include three separate segments: legacy Google, Motorola's handset business, and Motorola's set-top box unit. Another area to watch is the underlying trends in paid click prices as mobile advertising, which commands lower prices per click, plays an increasingly important role for the company.
While these reports will certainly help us figure out if the level of pessimism going into this quarter was overdone, the report everyone is anticipating will occur Tuesday. I'm talking about Apple, of course, the company that has everyone anxiously awaiting the release of the iPhone 5 and other rumored products like an Apple TV. To help investors really understand the Apple story, The Motley Fool has created a brand-new report listing not only the opportunities facing Apple, but also what to look for to know when to sell. The report not only comes with a write-up from one of our top tech analyst but also includes continuing updates whenever news strikes the company. Click here to get started today!
Brenton Flynn owns no shares of the companies mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, Microsoft, IBM, Qualcomm, and Google. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Apple, Google, and Microsoft; creating a bull call spread position in Apple; creating a bull call spread position in Microsoft; buying shares of eBay; and creating a synthetic long position in IBM. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.