U.S. Markets closed

Will FAANG Stocks Steal the Show This Earnings Season?

Tirthankar Chakraborty

Market pundits have time and again questioned whether the closely-watched FAANG group (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Alphabet-owned Google) will continue to dominate the market. After all, FAANG’s huge market value determines broader stock market movements, and any let downs in their quarterly earnings report will surely have far-reaching implications.

This year, nonetheless, it seems the FAANG group is back, and is collectively beating the market again. The broader S&P 500 may be up around 20% so far this year, but is well below the combined FANNG group’s return of nearly 35%.

Some may argue that Netflix, Inc. NFLX, in its latest quarterly earnings report, badly missed its estimated target for global subscriber growth. What’s more, Netflix lost nearly 130,000 domestic subscribers for the first time ever.

And when it comes to Alphabet Inc. GOOGL, the tech bigwig in particular is lagging the broader market’s performance, thanks to the U.S. Justice Department’s launch of an antitrust probe into Google. To top it, the company’s advertising revenue growth is decelerating mostly due to unfavorable foreign exchange impact.

And maybe that’s the reason why Alphabet currently has an Earnings ESP of -1.70%. This is our proprietary methodology for determining stocks that have the best chance to surprise with their next earnings announcement. It provides the percentage difference between the Most Accurate Estimate and the Zacks Consensus Estimate.

But, the same cannot be said about other FAANG stocks including Facebook, Inc. FB, Apple Inc. AAPL and Amazon.com, Inc. AMZN. These stocks are set to beat earnings in one of the busiest earnings stretches this season and have a positive Earnings ESP. Let us, thus, look at how are they placed this earnings season –

Facebook to Bounce Back

Last year, Facebook’s Q2 earnings results were weak and the social media giant lost more than $120 billion in market cap the following day. Even though the company has recovered since then, it is still facing many hurdles, including government antitrust concerns and controversies related to Libra crypto coin project.

But, the company continues to benefit from increasing mobile ad revenues from Instagram, core Facebook app and Messenger, and initiatives to improve security. And with nearly 2.38 billion active users, it’s unlikely for Facebook to come up with discouraging earnings this season.

Thus, when Facebook reports Q2 results on Jul 24 after the closing bell, market pundits expect the company to post $1.90 earnings per share, higher than $1.74 reported a year ago.

Such positive earnings results will lead to a rally in the share price. Thus, the company, which is part of the Internet - Services industry, is expected to witness earnings growth of 9.2% for the current quarter. In fact, the company has outperformed the broader S&P 500 so far this year (+54.4% vs +17.1%).

Facebook currently flaunts a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) and has an Earnings ESP of +0.61%.

Facebook, Inc. Price and EPS Surprise

 

Facebook, Inc. Price and EPS Surprise

Facebook, Inc. price-eps-surprise | Facebook, Inc. Quote

Apple Upgraded Ahead of Earnings

In recent times, Apple’s revenues have been declining due to lower iPhone sales. After all, Apple hasn’t launched a new iPhone since the end of the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018. In the most recent quarter, Apple’s total sales were down 5%, hurt by a 17% decline in iPhone revenues.

Thankfully, management believes Apple’s fiscal Q3 revenues will be between $52.5 billion and $54.5 billion, thereby its midpoint range will be slightly more than $53.3 billion reported in the year-ago quarter.

Apple’s other segments, including services, and wearables, home, and accessories are already showing signs of growth. For instance, Apple’s services segment jumped 18% on a year-over-year basis for the period ending Mar 30, 2019, while its wearables segment gained more than 30%.

Apple’s sales, by the way, are heavily dependent on China. And recent de-escalation of trade tensions between the United States and China will certainly help Apple report earnings again on Jul 30, after markets close. Analysts, thus, widely expect Apple to report earnings of $2.12 a share on sales of $53.31 billion in the June quarter.

Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty also raised her price target for Apple from $231 to $247 citing potential service acceleration in June. Apple’s shares have outperformed the broader S&P 500 index so far this year (+31.3% vs +17.0%).

The Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company has an Earnings ESP of +1.35%.

Apple Inc. Price and EPS Surprise

 

Apple Inc. Price and EPS Surprise

Apple Inc. price-eps-surprise | Apple Inc. Quote

Amazon the Undisputed King in E-Commerce

Shares of Amazon almost hit the record price touched in early September 2018 following this year’s Prime Day, which was once again the largest shopping event in its history. Sales during the two-day shopping event easily surpassed sales for last year's Black Friday and Cyber Monday taken together. In total, globally prime members brought a staggering 175 million items. The e-commerce giant has easily outpaced the broader S&P 500 on a year-to-date basis (+32.2% vs +17.1%).

Amazon Web Services (AWS), Amazon’s cloud computing platform for individuals, is doing pretty well. AWS Control Tower and AWS Security Hub are now available to customers, while delivery and logistics system continues to benefit Amazon.

Amazon, thus, is widely expected to post earnings of $5.29 per share in Q2, higher than $5.07 reported a year ago. The company is expected to report earnings results for the quarter ending June 2019 on Jul 25.

The Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) company has an Earnings ESP of +15.56%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Amazon.com, Inc. Price and EPS Surprise

 

Amazon.com, Inc. Price and EPS Surprise

Amazon.com, Inc. price-eps-surprise | Amazon.com, Inc. Quote

Today's Best Stocks from Zacks

Would you like to see the updated picks from our best market-beating strategies? From 2017 through 2018, while the S&P 500 gained +15.8%, five of our screens returned +38.0%, +61.3%, +61.6%, +68.1%, and +98.3%.

This outperformance has not just been a recent phenomenon. From 2000 – 2018, while the S&P averaged +4.8% per year, our top strategies averaged up to +56.2% per year.

See their latest picks free >>


Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report
 
Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Netflix, Inc. (NFLX) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Facebook, Inc. (FB) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Apple Inc. (AAPL) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.
 
Zacks Investment Research