Investors are a jittery bunch these days, and it's understandable -- by some metrics, the market in 2016 is off to its worst start on record.

However, as we all know by now, things change quickly in the era of the 24-hour news cycle. What's more, the market's machinations don't mean individual stocks can't still outperform handily.

A few of techs big players are reporting earnings this week, perhaps they can help give investors something to be happy about. Let's briefly review what to expect when IBM (NYSE:IBM) and Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) each report next week.

Source: IBM

IBM -- Reports on Jan 19th
IBM continued its losing ways in 2015, declining more than 15% and faring far worse than the broad market indices. Judging by the average analyst estimate, IBM should be in for another rough quarter.


Q4 2015 (expected)

Q4 2014

% Change

IBM Revenue








Source: Yahoo!Finance 

Despite its admitted struggles to date, I'm actually moderately intrigued by IBM shares, primarily due to their rock bottom valuation. IBM reminds me in many ways of McDonald's around a year ago, a longtime winner left for dead as fears that younger, hungrier rivals had finally found the secret sauce to beat it. For McDonald's, the challenger was the fast casual movement, whereas IBM faces threats from other players in the cloud space.

To be clear, IBM's struggles are real. Its revenue is expected to decline for a 15th straight quarter. However, between its strong presence at CES and its commitment to developing new technologies, IBM clearly has a future of some kind ahead of it. Currently priced at just 9x earnings and yielding nearly 4%, I maintain it's worth at least further research for value-conscious tech investors.

Source: Netflix

Netflix -- Reports on Jan 19th
The antithesis of IBM's investment profile, high-flying streaming video giant Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) also reports after the bell on Tuesday. Trading at roughly 284x earnings per share, Netflix is anything but cheap. However, analysts still expect the pre-eminent global streaming leader to report another solid quarter of growth.


Q4 2015 (expected)

Q4 2014

% Change

Netflix Revenue




Netflix EPS




Source: Yahoo!Finance 

Long-term, there's little reason to dislike Netflix's competitive position. Case in point, Netflix CEO Reid Hastings effectively (and shrewdly) turned his keynote address at last weeks' Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas into a huge promotional event for Netflix. Hastings announced Netflix's streaming service is now available in over 190 countries around the world. Bold moves like its torrid global expansion and its pioneering move into original content development point to the strong likelihood that Netflix will maintain its leadership position amid challenges from other streaming giants.

At the same time, I find myself somewhat wary that Netflix's valuation has gotten ahead of the business' likely near-term performance. As one of last year's high-flying FANG stocks, there's certainly a strong case to be made that Netflix might not be able to replicate its 135% gain in 2015, and we've seen extreme volatility grip its shares after past earnings announcements. While Netflix's long-term prospects looks solid, taking a more cautious stance heading into its earnings certainly seems justified from my perspective.