Microsoft (MSFT) managed to beat Wall Street earnings estimates for its fiscal first quarter, reporting earnings of $2.35 a share versus the $2.29 expected by analysts after the market close on October 25. But the stock is down strongly today, October 26, on the company’s forecast of slowing growth for the next quarter and a decline in growth from its Intelligent Cloud business unit.
Earnings. Earnings. And more earnings. From the big bellwether technology stocks: Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Meta Platforms, and Alphabet. Wall Street has already slashed earnings forecast for these stocks so there’s a good chance these companies will report earnings that surpass expectations even if only by a few pennies. By and large, though, these reports will show either an absolute drop from the September quarter of 2021 or, at best, a slowing of revenue and earnings growth. Key to the market’s reaction will be what these companies say about expectations for the next quarter or two. Will they emphasize what are already clear slowdowns in PC and smartphone sales? Will they speak to the elephant in the room–the U.S/China trade war? Will they say that a strong dollar plus inflation is cutting into sales outside the United States and U.S. sales to domestic customers who are showing signs of “price fatigue”?
On Monday, October 17, Microsoft (MSFT) confirmed that it had laid off nearly 1,000 employees across multiple divisions, including Xbox division staff this week.
My one-hundred-and-sixty-second YouTube video “Earnings Not as Bad as They Could Be” went up today. Microsoft (MSFT) serves as my example. We’re seeing some companies that, despite very meager earnings growth, give investors the impression that things “are not as bad as they could be.” These stocks will see bumps after upcoming earnings reports. Is this a long-term trend? Is it enough to keep the Bear Market rally going? Not necessarily. But it supports stocks for now.
On Tuesday, April 26, Microsoft (MSFT) reported net income of $16.73 billion or $2.22 share for the company’s fiscal third quarter. That was up from net income of $15.46 billion or $2.03 a share in the third quarter of fiscal 2021. Wall Street analysts had projected earnings of $2.19. The company reported revenue of $49.36 billion in the third quarter, compared with $41.7 billion a year earlier. Wall Street was looking for revenue of $49.05 billion. For the fiscal year that starts on July 1 Microsoft forecast double-digit revenue growth. The company’s shares closed up 4.81% on Wednesday, April 27. Microsoft is a member of my Jubak Picks Portfolio where it is up 179.25% from my initial buy on June 4, 2018. As of April 27 I’m raising my target price on Microsoft to $352 a share from the prior $155.
Going into this earnings season, the hope was that strong, surprisingly strong perhaps, earnings from the big growth stocks would put a stop to the selling. Earnings would be strong enough to convince investors that the market wasn’t over-valued since at these growth rates stocks would be seen to be quick growing into current extended valuations That hasn’t exactly worked so far. But this week the earnings story from growth stocks hits its stride. If the companies reporting this week can’t make the case for growth stock earnings, there probably isn’t a growth stock story to be made in the light of Federal Reserve interest rate increases, supply chain disruptions, and fears of a recession.
In order to meet my 5 p.m. “in your inbox” deadline today, I’m going to give you the name of my 12 picks and the logic for dividing them into three groups that correspond, roughly, to when you should thinking about adding these stocks to your portfolio.
But I’m going to save the specific reasons for each one of these 12 stocks to tomorrow. I’ll add them to the standing Recession Special Report and create a separate “reasons” post then. I’d divide my 12 Recession Stock Picks into 3 groups.
Monday was a great day to be invested in stocks. As long as you were invested in commodity stocks.
Special Report: A Recession is Coming–Part 1: Three Portfolio Strategies for a Recession today; Part 2: 10 Recession Stock Picks to come tomorrow
A Recession is coming! Probably.The odds are now high enough so that you and your portfolio should pay attention. So there are really three important questions. First, how likely is a Recession?In this Special Report I’m going to lay out the reasons for thinking that a Recession is on the way. Probably in the second half of 2022 or in 2023. Second, what strategies should you, as an investor, use to navigate in your portfolio through a Recession? In this Special Report I’m going to explain three strategies–call them general rules of the road–for investing during (and after) a Recession.
And, third, what specific stocks or bonds or ETFs or options should you use to implement those strategies to give you the biggest investing edge possible during this Recession? That’s where the 10 Recession Stock Picks come in. Look for that post tomorrow, March 22.
To get to my 10 picks for my Special Report: A New Core Portfolio for a New Market, let me start with the second half of that title, the new market part. Why do I think we’re headed into a new market–and what kind of stock is this new market likely to reward with gains? And then onto my 10 picks for a New Core Portfolio.
The reaction to Microsoft’s (MSFT) earnings report yesterday after the market close tells you that this market is poised at an earnings inflection point. Earnings, especially technology company earnings, are going to be strong this quarter, but earnings growth rate will be down from the big Pandemic recovery growth rates of 2021. Will the solid earnings growth this quarter be enough to stabilize this market? Which brings me to Microsoft.
At the moment, Wall Street is memorized by tomorrow’s meeting of the Federal Reserve’s interest-rate setting body, the Open Market Committee. The meeting is almost certain to result in no action on interest rates or Treasury purchases or balance sheet draw downs. The Fed likes to announce policy actions at meetings replete with economic updates (the Dot Plot) and press setups. Those are missing at this meeting and present for the March 16 meeting. That’s the date when we’re likely to see the Fed actually do something. So what happens when the Fed does nothing and says nothing?