Optimism Greets Upcoming Technology Quarter EarningsBy Reuters | Print
All eyes will focus on technology companies in the weeks ahead as Intel, Google, IBM, and others prepare to announce their quarter earnings amid a new sense of optimism. Observers will be listening for guidance from executives as to what to expect in the upcoming quarters.
By Gabriel Madway
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The biggest risk for investors in technology, with stock prices up a whopping 55 percent this year, is they might be just a little too happy.
All the buzz isn't without cause: Corporate technology spending could be set to rebound next year, cost-cutting is paying dividends, and dealmaking is back in a big way.
Those good vibrations will be tested next week, when some of the biggest names in technology, including Intel Corp (NASDAQ: INTC), Google Inc (NASDAQ: GOOG), and IBM (NYSE: IBM), post quarterly earnings.
"Clearly everybody expects beats in the September quarter," said Broadpoint AmTech analyst Brian Marshall. "People are expecting to see positive business trends unfold and they're looking for nice optimistic guidance in the December" quarter.
Such outsized expectations could trip up the industry. Reporting earnings that beat forecasts by, say, a penny per share may not keep investors happy, particularly if companies count on cost-cutting rather than revenue growth to get there.
The same goes for a solid, but unspectacular, outlook for the fourth quarter or 2010.
Call it the Blackberry scenario. Last month, the maker of the device, Research In Motion (TSE: RIM), reported quarterly profit of $1.03 a share, compared with analysts average forecast of $1 a share. But revenue came up short, its outlook disappointed investors, and the stock got crushed, dropping more than 16 percent.