Nadella‘s predecessor was not big on sitting down with the press and investors during quarterly calls owing to his volatile nature. Since his departure, Steve Ballmer has been called numerous versions of “crazy” and was rarely present at earnings calls due to his “loose cannon” behavior in what Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has always wanted, a controlled event.
Nokia certain to raise questions
The call will come Thursday, one day before the company will finalize its controversial $7.2 billion acquisition of the Finnish handset maker. While the deal was announced in September, that was Ballmer’s doing. Given the timing of the call, expect Nadella to be asked a number of questions about the deal including how he plans to integrate Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V)’s 32,000 employees into their new home at Microsoft.
Righting the ship at Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is a big ask and Nadella will certainly be asked how he expects to build on the growth in sales and earnings with Q2 revenues the best in ten quarters as the company moves towards devices and services.
Expect CFO Amy Hood to help take the pressure off Nadella, trained as an engineer, with regards to tax rates, foreign currencies, and other fiscal concerns. Nadella is expected to focus on Microsoft’s work in the cloud with Azure.
Having bucked Ballmer’s unwillingness to support non-Windows, the company finally rolled out Office for iPad and Android last month, Nadella is expected to defend that decision.
What analysts expect from Microsoft
While Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) began trading today with immediate gains, it has fallen back and remains virtually unchanged as of this writing (12:22 PM EDT).
The Street’s consensus is calling for Q3 earnings of $0.63 per share, unchanged for the last 60 days. Year-over-year, that is down from $0.72. Revenue for the quarter is expected to slip from the corresponding quarter, with sales down to $20.39 billion from 20.49, a loss of 0.50%.
For the year however, analysts expect revenues of $84.45 billion, up 8.4% from sales last year of $77.89 billion.
Whether these numbers are reported or not, the Street is certainly anticipating Nadella’s first earnings call and could be a great opportunity for Nadella to show the world that he has a clear vision for the former (current?) tech giant. Additionally, an earnings beat would go a long way.