NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Microsoft (MSFT) - Get Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) Report kicked off a busy week of earnings where 142 S&P 500 companies will be reporting. Microsoft shares were down 4.5% in after-hours trading despite the company beating revenue estimates and reporting in-line earnings per share.
"The quarter was okay but clearly not good enough," Guy Adami, managing director of stockmonster.com, said on CNBC's "Fast Money" TV show. Operating margins came in above expectations and the stock seems likely to climb toward $50. If it declines to $43, investors should buy the stock.
The risk-to-reward on Microsoft is "okay" but not great, according to Karen Finerman, president of Metropolitan Capital Advisors. The valuation is somewhat reasonable but the stock just doesn't have a lot upside or downside potential.
"There's no reason to own the company right here," Tim Seymour, managing partner of Triogem Asset Management, said on Microsoft. The stock is expensive compared to its 10-year average valuation and the company is likely to see margin pressure in the future.
"I wouldn't short it but I wouldn't buy it either," said Brian Kelly, founder of Brian Kelly Capital. It's time for CEO Satya Nadella to prove he can continue taking the company in the right direction now.
This quarter was just a "near-term speed bump," explained Dan Ives, managing director at FBR Capital Markets. He has a buy rating on shares of Microsoft with a $57 price target. The company is much better off than many of its large-cap tech peers and will continue to make headway in the cloud business this year. Microsoft could focus on acquisitions to bolster its business in the cloud as well as in big data and cyber security.
Currency issues could be a problem for large-cap tech companies, Seymour added. Many of these stocks, such as Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) - Get HP Inc. (HPQ) Report and Microsoft, seem a bit expensive and are no longer a place for investors "to hide" in for their buyback and dividends.
The Greek elections were thought by many to be a potential hangup for global stocks if the far-left Syriza party won the parliament elections. However, the euro actually traded higher on Monday, as did most European stocks after Syriza won.
European stocks continue to trade well despite the news out of Greece, Seymour said. German stocks are up 14% in the past few weeks and the weakened euro will help the exporters. He likes Seimens (SI) - Get SILVERGATE CAPITAL CORP. Report , Daimler and Lufthansa.
Just because European stocks are going up doesn't mean the European Central Bank's quantitative easing measures will work in the longer term, Kelly said. While Greece looks like a potential headwind by leaving the European Union, it's not clear if that will happen to at this point.
Apple (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. (AAPL) Report is scheduled to report earnings on Tuesday. There's "unprecedented demand" in China for the iPhone, said Brian White, managing director at Cantor Fitzgerald. Sales in China may outpace those in the U.S. this quarter. It's basically "iPhone fever" in China now that Apple has large-screen smartphones, he said.
White has a buy rating on the stock and a $143 price target. He said Apple's earnings per share will climb and the stock will likely see its earnings multiple expand in 2015. He's "very bullish on the Apple watch" and also said the new iPhone won't just be a short-term catalyst. This quarter will be a "stepping stone into a great year," he concluded.
Finerman is a long-term investor in Apple and said she prefers not to trade it. Shares seem to be in "no man's land," she said, adding that she's worried expectations are too high headed into earnings.
For their final trades, Seymour is buying Citigroup (C) - Get Citigroup Inc. Report and Kelly said to sell short the Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLF) - Get Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund Report . Finerman is a buyer of Michael Kors (KORS) and Adami is buying Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) - Get Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc Report .
-- Written by Bret Kenwell
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held TK positions in the stocks mentioned.