After drawing some observations and rules of thumb from the first batch of tech leaders to report earnings this month, what can we learn from those who have posted numbers since then?
Let's start with Verizon (VZ), the second largest phone carrier in the U.S., which posted earnings in line with expectations this week and saw a 1.7% decline in wireline revenue, yet its stock rose 10% on Monday.
Why? Because Verizon is offsetting the loss of residential phone lines with new wireless accounts, just as it's balancing the loss of DSL accounts with super-fast fiber-optic lines.
Verizon is managing to switch horses in midstream. It's transitioning from older and soon to be outmoded businesses to ones with more potential in the midst of an increasingly tough economy.Considering that it's also facing the potential loss of customers to AT&T (T) because of the iPhone 3G, the company is proving it can navigate through tricky situations. While no corner of the tech sector is likely to be spared from the effects of a recession, there are some pockets that may hold up relatively well because of areas where innovation and creativity are likely to draw what few dollars consumers and companies are willing to part with. That's a big contrast to companies relying on advertising. ValueClick (VCLK) warned Wednesday that its fourth-quarter revenue will be $142.5 million and its net profit at 15 cents or 16 cents a share, vs. the estimate of $167.7 million and 19 cents a share, respectively.
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