Earnings season is in full swing, and investors are anxious about what to expect. With major stock market indexes at a crucial level, disappointment could raise doubts about whether we’ve truly entered a new bull market.
Many investors have followed the FAANG stocks closely for years now, and this week, several members of that elite group are set to give investors their latest results. Reports from Facebook parent Meta Platforms (META -0.15%), e-commerce giant Amazon (AMZN -0.69%), and Google parent Alphabet (GOOGL -1.17%) (GOOG -1.02%) should all cast some light on the current state of the technology sector. Here’s what to expect.
Alphabet aims at AI
Alphabet gets things started off for the FAANG stocks on Tuesday. The search engine giant reports after the closing bell in the afternoon.
Investors come into Alphabet’s earnings with a lot of optimism. The stock has climbed sharply in 2023, rebounding to within a stone’s throw of its all-time record levels back in 2021. Moreover, those following Alphabet expect the good times to continue, projecting revenue growth of nearly 10% and earnings gains of 37% from year-ago levels.
Alphabet’s current business largely comes from advertising revenue related to its search engine, and so many investors focus almost exclusively on the ad market when they consider the prospects for the stock. However, Alphabet has worked hard to bolster offerings in cloud computing services and artificial intelligence (AI). Shareholders will be looking to see more information about that side of the business, and if the rest of Alphabet’s operations can contribute meaningfully on top of search-related results, then the stock could continue to rise.
Meta’s efficiency initiatives continue
Meta weighs in with earnings late Wednesday afternoon. The social media giant has reined in some of its aspirations to become the first mover in the metaverse, but it is still working hard to expand its ecosystem and tap into high-growth opportunities.
Expectations for Meta are much higher than for Alphabet. Investors expect to see earnings more than double from year-ago levels, while revenue should surge by more than 20% year over year.
Meta’s stock has more than doubled so far in 2023, as moves to make the business more efficient have bolstered the company’s bottom line. Many had feared that CEO Mark Zuckerberg would overspend on its Reality Labs metaverse unit, but the Meta co-founder’s willingness to consider short-term profit as a factor in his overall strategy came as a positive surprise to many investors.
Nevertheless, Meta can’t afford to coast on its social media prowess alone. Investors will have to watch closely to see if Reality Labs can thread the needle between generating good future prospects and controlling costs. Any disappointment could send shares falling.
Can Amazon bounce back?
Lastly, Amazon is set to report its earnings on Thursday afternoon. The stock has done reasonably well this year, but investors have been less optimistic in recent weeks as the company has gained unwanted attention from regulators.
Overall, shareholders expect good performance from Amazon. Current projections have earnings doubling from year-ago levels, with sales climbing about 11%. That’s meaningful for a retail business the size of the e-commerce giant’s.
Yet what most people will be watching at Amazon is its Amazon Web Services cloud computing business. AWS has a big opportunity to tap into favorable trends in AI, most notably in providing valuable services to developers trying to cash in on artificial intelligence demand.
Antitrust regulators have singled out Amazon as a potential monopolist, and that could weigh on sentiment for now. Nevertheless, Amazon’s business has performed well, and shareholders are optimistic that the good times can continue even with the overhang of litigation.
Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Randi Zuckerberg, a former director of market development and spokeswoman for Facebook and sister to Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. John Mackey, former CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Dan Caplinger has positions in Alphabet and Amazon.com. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Alphabet, Amazon.com, and Meta Platforms. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.