Two technology behemoths, Google and Microsoft, are scheduled to release their quarterly results on Thursday, April 23 after the closing bell. Google will report its fiscal Q1, 2015 earnings while it will be Microsoft’s Q3, 2015 result. Stakes are high for both the companies as they are exploring new ways to sustain growth.
Will Google beat consensus estimates this time?
The Mountain View-based company has missed the Wall Street estimates for five consecutive quarters. For the first quarter, analysts forecast $6.60 per share in earnings with $17.5 billion in revenues. Google had earned $6.27 a share with revenue of $15.42 billion in the same quarter a year ago. Given the company’s history of missing on the earnings front, investors are concerned.
Investors will be looking for management commentary on the European Union antitrust lawsuit. The lawsuit could potentially result into a multi-billion dollar fine. Google remains a dominant player in desktop search, but users are increasingly shifting towards mobile. Mobile generates less ad revenue due to its small screen.
YouTube is also facing stiff competition from Facebook video, which has emerged as a legitimate threat. Facebook has been consistently improving its video feature, and now receives over three billion views per day.
Microsoft: mobile and cloud strategy will be in focus
Analysts polled by FactSet expect Microsoft’s Q3 revenue to increase 3.20% YoY to $21.06 billion. However, its earnings are expected to decline from $0.68 per share in Q3, 2014 to $0.51 in the latest quarter. Over the past year, Microsoft has exceeded consensus estimates in three quarters, while narrowly missing in one.
UBS analyst Brent Thill said in a research note that he expected the software giant to report $21.5 billion in revenue and 55 cents a share in earnings. UBS has a Buy rating on the stock with $49 price objective. Thill said investors will be looking for commentary on the company’s mobile and cloud plans. The market share of Windows Phone remains low about a year after the company acquired Nokia’s handset business. Thill also expects to hear more about Microsoft’s shift to the cloud, including expectations for how long it will take.