CHICAGO, Jan. 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Zacks.com releases the list of companies likely to issue earnings surprises. This week's list includes Apple (Nasdaq : AAPL), Google (Nasdaq : GOOG), IBM (NYSE : IBM), Microsoft (Nasdaq : MSFT) and Intel (Nasdaq : INTC).
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Q4 Earnings Kick Into High Gear
The fourth quarter reporting season gets into high gear this week, with 253 companies coming out with quarterly results, including 83 S&P 500 companies. The earnings season thus far has been relatively uneventful, but we will have a better idea by the end of this week; by then we will have seen 30% of the total fourth quarter reports.
While last week was all about banks, the focus this week is on the Technology sector, particularly Apple (Nasdaq : AAPL) which reports after the close on Wednesday. The iPhone maker has lost some of its sizzle lately and is expected to see earnings decline from the same period last year. No company grows forever, but it may be premature to write Apple off.
Other major Tech companies reporting results this week include Google (Nasdaq : GOOG) andIBM (NYSE : IBM) on Tuesday and Microsoft (Nasdaq : MSFT) on Thursday. While Google and IBM are expected to show earnings growth, Microsoft's earnings are expected to be below the year-earlier level.
The overall earnings picture for the Tech sector doesn't look very inspiring. Total earnings for the 13% of total Tech sector companies that have already come out are down -11%. This is mostly due to the 27% drop inIntel (Nasdaq : INTC) earnings in the quarter, but there is no shortage of earnings declines among the sector players that have reported results.
For the 87% of the Tech sector companies still to report results, total earnings are expected to be down -3.5%. The composite earnings growth rate, where we combine the companies that have already reported with those still to come, for Tech is for a decline of -3.3% in the fourth quarter, which compares to the sector's actual earnings growth of 0.2% in the third quarter and 7.9% in the second quarter.
Sheraz Mian is the Director of Research for Zacks.com.
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