Earnings continue to pour in, with three Dow components reporting this morning before the open or after the close yesterday. AT&T (T) beat estimates by a penny after the close. The company reported strong subscriber growth in the first quarter, adding more than a million wireless subscribers, including 625,000 with long-term contracts. Boeing (BA) reported this morning, beating earnings per share handily. The company also raised its earnings estimate for the year. Procter & Gamble (PG) beat earnings, but said sales were negatively impacted by foreign currency fluctuations. So far, corporate earnings overall have been just ok. Most companies are beating estimates, but not by as wide a margin as in years past. In response, stocks have been on a slow, steady upward trend, but just without the huge percentage swings that became common in recent months.
Yahoo Finance Editor-in-Chief Aaron Task said expectations were so low that anything above estimates is being greeted as “not as bad as feared”.
"A lot of the chatter heading into earnings season was: it’s going to be the worst earnings season since 2008 and it’s going to be negative earnings growth for the S&P 500 and that is the game that gets played on Wall Street,” said Task. “The analysts lower expectations; the companies low-ball their guidance and then they beat it and everyone says ‘wow, this is great’ and the stock market rallies.”
Other results out this morning: Biogen Idec (BIIB) missed Wall Street earnings estimates by $0.09, but revenue came in slightly better than expected. The biotech company also raised its revenue outlook for the full year.
Delta Air Lines (DAL) beat estimates. Earnings came in $0.04 better than expected. Revenue rose 5%. The company said it was a sign of strength that revenue rose despite having to cancel thousands of flights in the quarter due to weather. Shares of Delta have more than doubled in the last 12 months.
The big reports after the close today are Facebook (FB) and Apple (AAPL). Wall Street will be looking for Facebook earnings of $0.24 a share and $2.36 billion in revenue. Analysts will be looking at ad prices, particularly mobile ads, as well as user engagement and growth. As of the end of last year, Facebook said it had 1.23 billion monthly active users. Apple is also expected to report after the bell today. Analysts will be looking for earnings of $10.18 a share and $43.53 billion in revenue. And while they'll also be looking for increased year-over-year sales of iPhones and iPads, they may be disappointed on iPhone sales. The highly-anticipated iPhone 6 is expected to go on sale later this year. It's believed many consumers will wait until it's released to make an iPhone purchase.
Poll: Are you waiting for the iPhone 6 before you buy a new phone?
Vote in our poll and leave a comment as well.
One area where Facebook and Apple have had shared success is minting young billionaires. Bankrate.com put out a new list of billionaires under 40 and half of them are alums of either Facebook or Apple. Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerburg, of course, made the list. So did fellow Facebook alum Eduardo Saverin who’s worth an estimated $4 billion. Napster co-founder Sean Parker was an early investor in Facebook. He’s worth an estimated $2.5 billion. Dustin Moskovitz worked on Facebook in its early stages, then went on to found a software company. He’s worth an estimated $6.5 billion. But it’s not all Facebook money. One Apple alum also made Bankrate’s list. Robert Pera left Apple and founded a wireless networking and internet company for emerging markets. He’s worth an estimated $2.7 billion.