Big Tech's First Coronavirus Earnings Test: Buy Apple, Amazon or Microsoft Stock?
On today’s episode of Full Court Finance here at Zacks, Ben Rains takes a look at what investors should expect from Apple AAPL, Amazon AMZN, and Microsoft’s MSFT quarterly earnings results that are all due out later this week. Wall Street will be closely watching the three tech giants for more clarity surrounding the coronavirus and to see if they can remain safe-haven investments.
The overall earnings picture has quickly deteriorated as the coronavirus pandemic continues to bring the global economy to as near a halt as many thought possible. For instance, our Zacks estimates project that overall S&P 500 earnings will fall -15.3% in the first quarter, and the outlook appears even worse in Q2 (also read: Previewing Tech Sector Earnings).
That said, energy, transportation, autos, consumer discretionary, and other sectors are projected to take huge hits. Meanwhile, tech sector S&P 500 earnings are only expected to slip -0.7% in the first quarter. This might mean that tech stocks, and certainty the mega-cap powers we discussed today, should play even larger roles in investment portfolios.
Amazon stock has climbed to new highs recently because its business model seems relatively immune from the coronavirus economic downturn. For instance, the e-commerce powerhouse has committed to hiring more people to deal with increased demand, even as millions of jobs are lost elsewhere.
Cloud computing rival Microsoft also looks set to grow as millions of people work from home. The tech firm’s diverse portfolio includes business-communication platforms to challenge the likes of Zoom ZM and Slack WORK, and many more offerings that remain vital during these challenging times.
Apple has expanded its portfolio to include a streaming TV platform to compete alongside Netflix NFLX, Disney DIS, and others. However, AAPL appears as though it will face setbacks in its key iPhone segment due to lower demand and production setbacks.
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