Microsoft Corporation, Apple Inc. – What To Expect Today?

Two tech juggernauts, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) will report their respective June quarter results on Tuesday, July 22 after the bell. Shares of both companies have moved up slightly in pre-market trading Tuesday, suggesting that investors are optimistic about the results. While Apple prepares for the iPhone 6 release this fall, Microsoft is undergoing a massive transformation under the new CEO Satya Nadella.

Microsoft Corporation, Apple Inc. - What To Expect Today?

Apple Q3 earnings preview

Most analysts seem unexcited about Apple’s June quarter results. Analysts on average expect the company to report $1.23 per share in earnings. Revenues are expected to jump a modest 7.50% YoY to $37.99 billion. JPMorgan analyst Rod Hall said in a research note that he expected the company to report $38 billion in revenues with 37.3% gross margins. Hall forecasts EPS of $1.20 per share.

JPMorgan forecasts the iPhone shipments to rise 14% YoY to 35.6 million units. However, iPhone shipments could be better than the research firm’s estimate as Apple continues to gain share in the high-end smartphone market. The iPhone’s share in the high-end segment (>$350) rose to 44.2% in the first quarter of this year.

Apple’s decision to reduce the Mac prices by bringing newer models could boost MacBook sales during the third quarter. The company has reduced the starting price of MacBook Air by $100 to $899. JPMorgan expects the company to ship four million Macs during June quarter. The iPad shipments are expected to rise a modest 3% YoY to 15.1 million. Meanwhile, iTunes revenues are expected to jump 12% YoY to $4.5 billion.

Microsoft Q2 earnings preview

Analysts expect Microsoft’s June quarter earnings to decline from $0.66 per share to $0.60. However, its revenues are expected to increase 15.40% to $23 billion. The software giant is cutting 18,000 jobs, mainly from its recent acquisition of Nokia’s handset business. The company has also announced to shut down its Xbox Entertainment Studio.

Nomura analyst Rick said in a research note that Microsoft is backing away from its devices strategy. Nomura has a Buy rating on the stock with $50 price target. The research firm said that Microsoft is likely extracting itself from the manufacturing part of the handset business. The company may outsource it to contract manufacturers. Cost savings won’t be a strongly positive catalyst to the stock as handset revenues continue to decline. Sherlund expect Satya Nadella to boost shareholder value by announcing stock buybacks.

Microsoft shares inched up 0.27% to $44.96 at 9:36 AM EDT on Tuesday.