The Week Ahead: Tech Earnings in Focus
The last full-week of January will be filled with earnings. With the major financials having reported, the market will next shift its focus to tech.
Investors should note that U.S. markets will be closed Monday for the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.
Kicking off tech earnings, Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) will report on Tuesday. Mobile rival Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) will follow on Wednesday, with handset maker Nokia (NYSE: NOK) and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) on Thursday. The market will also see results from Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) Wednesday, a popular stock among traders, and coffee giant Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX) on Thursday.
Last time Google reported earnings, shares dropped on investors' disappointment with the search giant's results. However, since then, shares have largely rebounded and are now trading back above $700 per share.
Analysts at Canaccord have a Buy rating on the stock, and a $810 price target. They describe expectations for the coming quarter as “reasonable,” but note that there could be some volatility around earnings.
“There are more moving parts than normal in the model that could add volatility around earnings,” Canaccord notes.
Apple will follow Google and report on Wednesday. Investors will be looking to see how well the company's flagship iPhone 5 sold. In recent months, shares of Apple have been mostly trending lower -- falling nearly 30 percent since early October.
Several analysts have warned that demand for the iPhone 5 may be worse than anticipated. So far, Apple hasn't commented on iPhone 5 sales yet, but investors will see how the smartphone is doing Wednesday.
Along with Apple, Netflix will report Wednesday. But unlike Apple, Netflix has rallied strongly higher in the last three months; up about 50 percent.
Eric Wold, Netflix analyst at B Riley & Co, has a Sell rating on Netflix and a $45 price target. Wold doesn't think the company is “going away anytime soon,” but believes that lofty content costs will weigh on Netflix's share price.
“This stock could have a big leg down after earnings,” Wold told Benzinga. “Next week, investors will see that they paid a lot for Disney's content and their guidance for future subscribers will be conservative.”
On Thursday, investors should get a good look at Windows Phone 8. Microsoft, the maker of the Windows Phone operating system, will report along with its hardware partner Nokia. Microsoft's earnings in particular should give some insight into Windows 8 adoption in general.
Starbucks' earnings will be released alongside Microsoft and Nokia. Analysts at Morgan Stanley are bullish on the coffee giant, with an Overweight rating and $57 price target. Shares closed at $54.81 on Friday.
Morgan Stanley writes, “Starbucks continues to have one of the best multi-year setups in restaurants from top line drivers to margin benefits, driven by falling commodities.”
Morgan Stanley thinks single-serve coffee could be a major opportunity for Starbucks, which entered the market with its Verismo machine last fall.
Economic will reports will be a bit light during the week. On Tuesday, existing home sales in the U.S. will be released. Economists are expecting a figure of 5.1 million. Wednesday will bring Redbook retail sales and the House Price Index.
Internationally, investors will get some data on the Canadian economy, including inflation data on Friday. The Bank of Canada will make a decision on interest rates Wednesday. Canadian interest rates are currently at 1 percent and economists don't expect a change.
Headlines from Washington should be limited. On Friday, reports indicated that the Republican-controlled House of Representatives is preparing to extend the debt ceiling for three-months. That extension should calm concerns about the possibility of a U.S. default.
- U.S. Markets Closed: MLK Day
- Canadian Wholesale Sales Month-over-Month (Expected 1 percent), Mexican Unemployment Rate (Prior 5.1 percent)
- Earnings from: Freeport-McMoran (NYSE: FCX), Google (NASDAQ: GOOG), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ), AMD (NYSE: AMD)
- US Existing Home Sales (Expected 5.1M), German ZEW Economic Sentiment (Expected 12), Canadian Core Retail Sales Month-over-Month (Prior 0.5 percent), Australian CPI (Expected 0.4 percent)
- Earnings from: General Dynamics (NYSE: GD), Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX), Western Digital (NASDAQ: WDC)
- Mexican Retail Sales Year-over-Year (Prior 3.5 percent), Canadian Interest Rate Decision (Expected 1 percent), Chinese HSBC Manufacturing PMI (Prior 51.50), South Korean GDP Year-over-Year (Prior 1.5 percent), US Redbook Retail Sales (Prior -0.30 percent)
- Earnings from: Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV), Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT), Raytheon (NYSE: RTN), E*Trade (NASDAQ: ETFC), Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX), Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), AT&T (NYSE: T)
- French Manufacturing PMI (Expected 45.1), German Manufacturing PMI (Expected 46.8), Japanese Tokyo Core CPI Year-over-Year (Expected -0.5 percent)
- Earnings from: Oshkosh (NYSE: OSK), Honeywell (NYSE: HON), Weyerhaeuser (NYSE: WY)
- Canadian CPI Month-over-Month (Prior -0.2 percent), German Ifo Business Climate Index (Expected 103)
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