Market Overview

Tech Earnings: A Quartet of Bellwethers Report

On Thursday, four of the most important technology companies in the world released their quarterly earnings results. Investor reaction to these reports will significantly influence tomorrow's trading activity as well as expectations about the likely outlook for a host of related companies. Three companies, Intel (NASDAQ: INTC), Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) and IBM (NYSE: IBM) are moving higher in the wake of their earnings releases, while Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) shares have plunged.

Unfortunately, the fall in GOOG is outweighing the modest advances in the other names and the PowerShares QQQ Trust ETF (NASDAQ: QQQ), which tracks the performance of the NASDAQ 100, has fallen 0.35% in after hours trading. This is a preliminary indication that the tech-heavy Nasdaq could be under some pressure tomorrow, although sentiment could easily shift by the morning.

Other ETFs that are likely to be active tomorrow include the Technology SPDR ETF (NYSE: XLK), which is essentially unchanged in the after hours, and the Market Vectors Semiconductor ETF (NYSE: SMH), which is up 1.08% to $33.79 in the after hours. Below, Benzinga recaps Thursday's critical earnings reports from tech leaders Google (NASDAQ: GOOG), Intel (NASDAQ: INTC), Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) and IBM (NYSE: IBM).

Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) reported GAAP net income of $2.71 billion, or $8.22 per share, versus $2.54 billion, or $7.81 per share, in last year's fourth quarter. On a non-GAAP basis, which is comparable to analysts' consensus estimates, Google reported net income of $3.13 billion, or $9.50 per share, compared to $2.85 billion or $8.75 per share, in the year ago period. This missed Wall Street analysts' consensus EPS estimates of $10.49.

Revenues were $10.58 billion, without deducting traffic acquisition costs, which was a 25% increase versus last year's fourth quarter. Wall Street analysts had consensus revenue estimates of $8.41 billion heading into the report.

In the after hours trading session, GOOG shares have lost around 9% to $582.50, but have risen off of their lows. Expect GOOG to be very active tomorrow morning at the opening bell and throughout the trading day.

Leading global semiconductor company Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) reported fiscal Q4 GAAP net income of $3.36 billion or $0.64 per share, compared to $3.18 billion or $0.56 per share, in the year ago period. On a non-GAAP basis, which is comparable to analysts' consensus estimates, INTC's net income was $3.55 billion or $0.68 per share, versus $3.20 billion or $0.56 per share, in last year's fourth quarter. This handily beat analysts' consensus EPS estimates of $0.61.

Net revenues came in at $13.89 billion compared to $11.46 billion in last year's corresponding quarter. This also beat analysts' consensus estimates of $13.72 billion.

Looking ahead to the fiscal first-quarter, Intel expects revenue in a range between $12.3 billion and $13.3 billion. Currently, Wall Street analysts have consensus revenue estimates for the first-quarter of $12.8 billion.

In the after hours trading session, INTC shares have risen 0.74% to $25.82. The stock initially popped after the report, but then sold-off and was trading in negative territory briefly before bouncing back.

Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) reported net income of $6.62 billion or $0.78 per share, which compares to net income of $6.63 billion or $0.77 per share in last year's fourth quarter. This beat Wall Street consensus EPS estimates of $0.76.

Revenues at Microsoft came in at $20.89 billion, which was a 5% increase over the $19.95 billion that the company reported in the year ago period. Revenues, however, slightly missed Street consensus of $20.93 billion.

In the after hours trading session, MSFT shares have risen 2.49% to $28.82.

IBM (NYSE: IBM) reported net income of $5.5 billion or $4.62 per share, versus $5.3 billion or $4.18 per share in last year's corresponding quarter.

On a non-GAAP basis, which is comparable to analysts' consensus, IBM reported net income for the quarter of $5.6 billion or $4.71 per share, compared to $5.4 billion or $4.25 per share, in the year ago period. This came in ahead of Street consensus EPS estimates of $4.62.

Net revenues at the company came in at $29.49 billion which was a 1.6% increase over the $29.02 billion that IBM reported in last year's fiscal fourth quarter. Wall Street analysts had consensus revenue estimates of $29.71 billion heading into the report.

Looking ahead, IBM is forecasting operating net earnings of at least $14.85 per share for fiscal 2012. Analysts currently have consensus EPS estimates of $14.82 for the fiscal year.

In the after hours trading session, IBM shares have risen 2.49% to $185.01.

Posted-In: Earnings News Sector ETFs Broad U.S. Equity ETFs Guidance After-Hours Center Movers ETFs Best of Benzinga

 

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