BOLTING LANDING, N.Y. -- Just like the summer heat, earnings season is breaking out in all of its glory. Let's take a look at what to expect from earnings season: Who will hit, and who will miss?Semiconductor manufacturer Intel ( INTC) led off the cavalcade of technology earnings, setting a very strong tone for the industry. Not only did Intel beat top- and bottom-line analyst estimates, but the company also raised forward guidance. Should we expect the same from some of Intel's peers in the semiconductor group? Yes and no. Advanced Micro Devices ( AMD), which is a fraction of the size of Intel, is expected to turn a slight gain of 6 cents a share for the quarter vs. a hefty loss of 49 cents a share last year. Sales are expected to grow 30% year over year. The PC business is picking up, but perhaps not so much for AMD, which has not managed to get its chips into the best-selling PCs. I would note that estimates have been ratcheted down slightly for AMD in the past week but remain unchanged from levels two months ago. In other words, analysts became more positive on earnings and then had second thoughts. I would not extrapolate Intel's overwhelming success to AMD. In fact, the hit from Intel might juxtapose a miss from AMD. On the other hand, Broadcom ( BRCM), which specialized in semiconductors for the wireless and video industries, could be poised for significant upside surprises for its most-recent quarter and in terms of forward guidance. There are two large companies that have telegraphed big hits for the quarter. The first one might be obvious: Apple ( AAPL). The iPad is a big hit. There is not enough inventory to make sales fast enough. The iMac line of computers, also selling like hot cakes, uses Intel Xeon and Core Duo chips, so we should connect those dots between Intel and Apple. The other company that has telegraphed an excellent quarter is Ford Motor ( F). Sales continue to be strong for Ford. The company recently announced the repayment of $3.8 billion of debt as well as all dividends in arrears on its 6.5% Cumulative Trust Preferred Securities (FpS). These actions are all made possible by strong sales and cash flow. Furthermore, it sets the stage for a resumption of dividend payments on the common stock. I like the Ford warrants (F-WS).
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