Pre/post earnings: Apple, Amazon, Zynga

An A-to-Z look at earnings, from Apple and Amazon, which report today, to Zynga, which released results Wednesday.

• Let’s start with the iPad — it’s been hours since we’ve mentioned it, after all. Apple CEO Tim Cook said this week during the company’s products announcement that Apple had sold its 100 millionth iPad earlier this month. That caused analysts to scramble to revise their too-high estimates of the company’s tablet sales, according to Fortune.

But also key to Apple earnings will be iPhone sales. Last quarter, during Apple’s earnings miss, there was a big slowdown in sales of the iPhone. Many chalked it up to consumers probably waiting to buy the iPhone 5. This time around, there could be more of the same, according to MarketWatch. The newest iPhone has only been available since late September, and some analysts are worried about supply issues. Remember, analysts view the iPhone not  just as important to Apple’s bottom line and future, some of them see the gadget an economic stimulant. (See Apple’s iPhone 5: Could it be the answer America’s been looking for?)

The top 3 U.S. wireless carriers’ recent earnings reports do provide clues about iPhone sales: Last week, Verizon reported 3.1 million overall iPhone activations in its latest quarter; AT&T, which reported earnings Wednesday, activated 4.7 million iPhones; and Sprint said today it activated 1.5 million iPhones in its latest quarter.

One analysts poll expects the Cupertino company to post fourth-quarter profit of $8.81 a share on $36.02 billion in revenue. Shares of Apple were down a little more than 1 percent to $610.10 as of this post. Reuters points out that the broader stock market’s moves have recently been tied to how Apple shares are doing.

• On to Amazon.com, which also peddles tablets, and much, much more. The giant online retailer doesn’t break out sales numbers of its Kindle Fire tablets or its Kindle e-readers, but analysts usually try to read between the lines. While Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has said the company doesn’t make much money from selling its tablets and e-readers, Amazon does count on revenue that those gadgets bring in as consumers buy books and other content on them, as well as other goods from Amazon. (See Consumer wins…)

The giant Seattle company seems like it’s always expanding and spending money. With the holidays coming up, for example, Amazon recently announced it would be hiring 50,000 seasonal workers. So MarketWatch points out that the company’s margins will be closely watched, as always.

One analysts poll expects Amazon to post a loss of 7 cents a share on $13.92 billion in revenue, compared with a profit of 14 cents a share on $10.9 billion in revenue. Amazon shares were off less than 0.5 percent to $227.75 as of this post.

• New life for Zynga, social-games maker? Wall Street is liking the San Francisco company’s recent moves to stay afloat: It’s cutting costs by killing games, shutting down offices and laying off workers, and Wednesday it reported earnings that beat analysts’ low expectations. Also, it announced a $200 million stock buyback, plus a partnership that will allow it to offer online poker and other games in the U.K. Some investors could be feeling lucky that the gambling deal will lead to future ones, especially when regulations ease up in the United States, according to Bloomberg.

Shares of Zynga were up nearly 13 percent to $2.40 as of this post. Till yesterday, they had been down nearly 80 percent since their initial public offering in December.

 

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