A Look At Recent Tech-industry Earnings

Published February 14, 2012 3:45PM (EST)

Here is a summary of recent earnings and reports for selected technology companies and what they reveal about the state of spending and the overall economy:

Jan. 18: EBay Inc. says its net income grew sharply in the fourth quarter, helped by a gain from the sale of its remaining investment in Skype. Its results beat Wall Street's expectations, boosted by strong holiday sales at its namesake website and growth at PayPal, its online payments business.

Jan. 19: A slowdown in Google Inc.'s earnings growth alarms investors. Net income edged up just 6 percent from the same October-December period in 2010, coming off year-over-year increases of more than 25 percent in each of the previous two quarters.

IBM Corp.'s fourth-quarter earnings handily beat Wall Street's expectations, helped by higher revenue and profit margins in the technology icon's lucrative software and services segments.

Intel Corp., the world's largest chip-maker, says its profit rose 6 percent in the latest quarter, topping analyst expectations, even as hard-drive shortages held back PC makers' chip orders.

Microsoft Corp. battled through a weak PC market to post flat earnings in the latest quarter, boosting sales of servers, Xbox games and its Office productivity software while trimming losses at its Bing search engine.

Jan. 23: Texas Instruments Inc. says it will close computer-chip factories in Houston and Japan in a cost-cutting move that will lay off about 1,000 workers, or about 3 percent of its workforce. Fourth-quarter results topped analyst estimates.

Jan. 24: Apple Inc. reports results that vastly exceeds analyst estimates and sets new records. That came after uncharacteristically tepid sales in the July-to-September quarter. Apple says net income in the latest quarter was $13.87 per share, more than double the $6.43 per share a year ago and above analyst estimates of $10.04 per share.

Yahoo Inc.'s latest financial results show the Internet company is still losing ground in the battle for online advertising. Earnings in the latest quarter were down 5 percent and matched analysts' expectations. However, Yahoo fell short on a key metric. After subtracting advertising commissions, Yahoo's revenue totaled $1.17 billion — $20 million below analyst projections.

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. reports a loss for the fourth quarter, after the chip-maker wrote down the value of an investment in its former GlobalFoundries unit by $209 million and recorded $98 million in restructuring costs. After excluding one-time items, AMD earned 19 cents per share. Analysts expected the company to report a profit of 16 cents per share.

EMC Corp.'s results for the latest quarter surged past analyst estimates while the forecast for this year called for double-digit growth in earnings and revenue. It's a further sign that the world's largest maker of data-storage computers is benefiting from a shift to cloud computing, in which companies run software and services on remote computers.

Jan. 25: Netflix Inc. says its net income fell 14 percent in the latest quarter, partly because of subscriber defections that followed a price increase of up to 60 percent in the U.S. However, Netflix was able to regain some of the lost U.S. customers to end the year at 24.4 million, up 600,000 from the end of September.

Xerox Corp. says fourth-quarter net income more than doubled as the company put some restructuring behind it and benefited from a freeze on a number of its pension plans. Excluding special items, Xerox earned 33 cents per share, matching analyst expectations.

Specialty glass maker Corning Inc. says its profit slumped 53 percent in the fourth quarter but its revenue rose 7 percent on stronger sales of glass for flat-screen televisions, computers and mobile devices.

Motorola Solutions Inc., which sells communications equipment to government and corporate customers, says its fourth-quarter net income shrank because of the cost of stock-based compensation for employees and other charges. But adjusted results beat expectations as client demand rose.

Jan. 26: Mobile phone maker Nokia Corp. reports a fourth-quarter net loss of €1.07 billion ($1.38 billion) as sales slumped 21 percent even as the company's first Windows smartphones hit markets in Europe and Asia. The loss, widened by a €1 billion loss booked on Nokia's navigation systems unit, compares with a profit of €745 million a year earlier.

Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. reports a fourth-quarter loss, as it battles competition in the smartphone and computer tablet market. The company released preliminary numbers three weeks ago. Analysts lowered their earnings estimates then when Motorola warned the period would be a letdown.

Jan .27: Samsung Electronics Co. reports a 17 percent jump in fourth-quarter profit on the strength of smartphone sales even as the company battled claims it had copied iPhone. The company, however, reports an operating loss in its display division despite a sales increase of 19 percent from the previous year.

Jan. 31: Amazon.com Inc. says its fourth-quarter net income dropped sharply, weighed down by higher operating expenses as the company continued to invest in its long-term growth plans at the expense of short-term earnings. More surprisingly, revenue grew at a slower clip than Wall Street had expected. The company also gives a disappointing guidance for the current quarter. Investors punish the online retailer's stock.

Feb. 1: Qualcomm Inc., a maker of chips for mobile devices, says profit in the latest quarter rose 16 percent as rising global demand for smartphones boosted sales. The company also raises its outlook for its current fiscal year and says that new 3G and 4G wireless networks should increase its sales opportunities during 2012.

Feb. 8: Cisco Systems Inc., the world's largest maker of computer networking equipment, says net income jumped 44 percent in the latest quarter as it continues to put last year's slump behind it. Cisco has emerged leaner after a round of layoffs and a narrowing of its focus.

Feb. 9: LinkedIn reports a strong fourth quarter as the online professional-networking service added 14 million members. Its net income and revenue beat Wall Street's expectations. The results offer further evidence of online networking's popularity and moneymaking potential as Facebook prepares for an initial public offering of stock.

Coming up:

Feb. 21: Dell Inc., Salesforce.com Inc.

Feb. 22: Hewlett-Packard Co.

March 19: Adobe Systems Inc.

March 29: Research in Motion Ltd.

Unknown: Oracle Corp.

By Salon Staff

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