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Chicago, IL – October 24, 2023 – Today, Zacks Investment Ideas feature highlights Alphabet GOOGL and Microsoft MSFT.
Earnings season continues to capture the spotlight, with several big tech companies slated to take center stage this week. The period has primarily been positive so far, again helping us elude an 'earnings meltdown' many had feared.
Regarding this week's docket, we have both Alphabet and Microsoft scheduled to reveal their quarterly prints. Both companies report on Tuesday, October 24th, after the market's close.
Both stocks have enjoyed positive price action over the last month, outperforming the S&P 500 as buyers continue to favor mega-cap tech.
But what should investors expect heading into the release, particularly regarding some key metrics? Let's take a closer look.
Analysts have moved their quarterly expectations slightly higher since July, with the $2.65 Zacks Consensus EPS Estimate up 0.4% and the $54.4 billion consensus revenue estimate 0.1% higher in the same period.
The estimated figures reflect year-over-year growth rates of 13% and 8.5%, respectively. The technology sector as a whole is expected to benefit from more effective cost controls that have aided margins.
MSFT's shares faced pressure following their latest earnings release, breaking the trend of positive reactions in prior quarters throughout 2023.
Many will be fixated on cloud computing results, an area that's significantly aided MSFT's growth over recent years. The company's Intelligent Cloud segment consists of public, private, and hybrid server products and cloud services.
For the quarter to be reported, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for Intelligent Cloud revenue sits at $23.5 billion, reflecting a year-over-year climb of 15.8% and a sequential 2% decrease. As we can see below, the company has consistently exceeded consensus Intelligent Cloud revenue expectations in 2023, snapping a streak of back-to-back negative surprises in 2022.
Analysts have shown slight positivity for Alphabet's upcoming release, with the $1.45 Zacks Consensus EPS Estimate 1.4% higher since July and reflecting a year-over-year improvement of 36%.
Top line expectations have also moved higher, with the $63.1 billion quarterly revenue estimate up a fractional 0.5% since July and suggesting an improvement of 10% from year-ago sales of $57.3 billion.
Shares have reacted positively to the company's quarterly results in back-to-back releases.
Alphabet's advertising business makes up a large chunk of its total revenue. For the quarter, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for advertising revenue stands at $58.9 billion, reflecting an 8% change year-over-year.
The company has positively surprised on this metric in back-to-back quarters, as shown below. Advertising results will likely be closely watched among investors, as ad spending is a common business item that gets reduced during fears of a potential economic slowdown.
Like MSFT, Alphabet's cloud computing business has become a source of growth for the company, which will bring it under heavy attention. For the quarter, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for Google Cloud revenue stands at $8.5 billion, suggesting a 23% year-over-year climb.
Earnings season continues to chug along, with big tech names such as Microsoft and Alphabet stealing the spotlight this week.
The quarterly releases will undoubtedly have significant implications regarding sentiment, particularly following investors' flight to safety within mega-cap tech in 2023.
Cloud computing results will be closely watched following several years of rapid growth, whereas investors will also focus on Alphabet's advertising business as well.
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Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit https://www.zacks.com/performancefor information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.
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