Microsoft, Intel, AMD Among Big Tech Earnings Next Week

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Earnings season moves into full force with technology giants and market-moving companies reporting next week.

There are over 100 companies reporting earnings this week that trade over one million shares a day. For traders and investors alike, this is one of the biggest weeks of the quarter. RVBD Chart RVBD data by YCharts

Riverbed Technology ( RVBD)

Background: Riverbed Technology provides solutions to the fundamental problems associated with information technology performance across wide area networks in the United States and internationally. The company was founded in 2002 and is headquartered in San Francisco. Riverbed trades an average of four million shares per day with a market cap of $3.4 billion.

52-Week Range: $13.30 to $30.73

Book Value: $4.63

Price To Book: 4.68

Third-quarter earnings are highly anticipated by hopeful investors expecting reported growth report after the market closes on Thursday. The analysts' mean appraisal is presently 25 cents a share, a gain of 1 cent (4%) from 24 cents during the corresponding quarter last year.

The lowest analyst estimate for this report is 25 cents per share, and the highest is 26 cents per share. If earnings come in as expected or higher, this quarter will not only beat the same period last year, but also last quarter.

Despite the earnings growth, analysts are taking a tepid stand with Riverbed. A hold can mean anything, but you may be well advised to consider holds as (somewhat) glorified sell ratings. It appears 23 out of 37 now rate the company a hold, while 14 recommend buying and none of the analysts recommend selling. The stock appreciated 8.6% in the last year, and the average analyst target price for Riverbed is $21.75.

The price chart illustrates analyst reluctance in endorsing the company. I like the company, but I'm not overly excited about this quarter's earnings. Listening carefully to guidance, and expect management's expectations to lead share prices for the next couple weeks.

The current proportion sold short based on the float is 6.5%, and I find this much interest by short sellers worth looking at in more depth.

SNDK Chart SNDK data by YCharts

SanDisk ( SNDK)

Background: SanDisk designs, develops and manufactures NAND flash memory storage solutions that are used in various consumer electronics products. The company was founded in 1988 and is headquartered in Milpitas, Calif. SanDisk trades an average of five million shares per day with a market cap of $10 billion.

52-Week Range: $30.99 to $53.46

Book Value: $29.15

Price To Book: 1.46

SanDisk is forecast to record lower third-quarter earnings after the market closes on Thursday. The consensus estimate is currently 33 cents a share, a drop of 87 cents (72.5%) from $1.20 during the equivalent quarter last year. Estimates from analysts range from a low of 27 cents per share to 42 cents per share.

The majority of analysts believe SanDisk continues to offer a buying opportunity, with 18 of the 29 analysts covering the company giving it a buy recommendation. Nine are taking a more cautious approach and rate it a hold. The average analyst target price for SanDisk is $46.25.

I can't help but think of the TV show "Wall Street Warriors" every time I read about this company. Shares in SanDisk haven't appreciated significantly during the last 12 months, but at least they are higher. SanDisk moved higher1.4% in the last year, and the average analyst target price for SanDisk is $46.25.

Based on technical analyst, SanDisk has distinguished attributes. The 60-day moving average is breaking above the 200-day moving average, which is bullish, albeit, the current price is having difficulty staying on the bullish side of the line.

I'm not a giant fan of this space, and most of the storage companies are fighting for every last dollar. The merging of technologies including SSD, Cloud, Wi-Fi, 4G, etc. should result in greater competition among producers and diminishing relative demand by consumers.

The race within camera manufacturers for ever-increasing megapixels is all but over as the emphasis shifts towards image processing and other factors influencing overall image quality. The proliferation of internet capable devices capable of uploading content conjointly lowers the consumer demand for portable media storage.

Short interest above 4% is not enough to sound he alarms, but above 5% it places renewed hesitation in allocating capital in the company. Short-sellers are among the brightest and most informed market participants, and if they turn sour on a company it is likely for a valid reason. If the short interest ascends above 5%, you may want to scrutinize changes within the space. SNDK Revenue Quarterly Chart SNDK Revenue Quarterly data by YCharts

FLEX Chart FLEX data by YCharts

Flextronics International ( FLEX)

Background: Flextronics engages in the provision of design and manufacturing services to original equipment manufacturers worldwide. The company was founded in 1990 and is headquartered in Singapore. Flextronics trades an average of four million shares per day with a market cap of $4 billion.

52-Week Range: $5.45 to $7.49

Book Value: $3.38

Price To Book: 1.8

Fiscal second-quarter earnings are highly anticipated by hopeful investors expecting a growth report after the market closes on Thursday.

The analysts' mean appraisal is presently 23 cents a share, a gain of 1 cent (4.3%) from 22 cents during the corresponding quarter last year. Analysts are estimating as low as 22 cents per share to 24 cents per share.

If Flextronics International delivers at least the expected results in this report, this quarter will mark an improvement over the previous. Last quarter the company made 23 cents per share, 1 cent more than the estimate.

TheStreet's Jim Cramer writes about the company in Where Is the Rush to Buy?.

Analysts as a whole like this company. Currently, Flextronics has nine buy recommendations out of 15 analysts covering the company. The stock is about even for the year, and the average analyst target price is $8.21.

It appears short-sellers missed out on this one, despite a unappealing technical chart. Short interest hardly moves the needle with only 0.8% of the float. Don't expect a short squeeze if they beat. FLEX Revenue Quarterly Chart FLEX Revenue Quarterly data by YCharts

AMD Chart AMD data by YCharts

Advanced Micro Devices ( AMD)

Background: AMD operates as a semiconductor company worldwide. The company designs, develops, and sells microprocessor products. The company was founded in 1969 and is headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif. AMD trades an average of 23 million shares per day with a market cap of $2 billion.

52-Week Range: $3.09 to $8.35

Book Value: $1.58

Price To Book: 2.06

Investors aren't expecting an improvement in earnings. Analysts forecast per share results below last year in the same quarter. The third-quarter earnings release is planned after the market closes on Thursday.

The consensus estimate is currently 1 cent a share, a drop of 14 cents (93.3%) from 15 cents during the equivalent quarter last year. Analysts are estimating as low as a loss of 3 cents per share all the way up to earnings of 5 cents per share.

Most of the analysts, 20 out of 39, are giving this company a hold rating. Seven recommend this as a buy and six recommend selling.

Four out of the 39 analysts now rate AMD a strong buy, down from six analysts a month ago. Compared to three months ago, fewer analysts are rating this company as a strong buy. Shareholders have not been rewarded for their patience. Shares have fallen 32.6% in the last year, and the average analyst target price for AMD is $4.65.

Short interest with AMD is remarkably high. More than one in five shares is short. Shorts are the smart money, but when they pile on this hard it can backfire, too. The proportion of the float short is 23.8%. Highly shorted, low-priced stocks make for thrilling short squeezes. AMD Revenue Quarterly Chart AMD Revenue Quarterly data by YCharts

MSFT Chart MSFT data by YCharts

Microsoft ( MSFT)

Background: Microsoft develops, licenses, and supports software products and services; and designs and sells hardware worldwide. The company was founded in 1975 and is based in Redmond, Wash. Microsoft trades an average of 39.5 million shares per day with a market cap of $243 billion.

52-Week Range: $24.30 to $32.95

Book Value: $7.92

Investors aren't expecting an improvement in earnings. Analysts forecast per-share results below last year in the same quarter. The fiscal first-quarter earnings release is planned after the market closes on Thursday.

The consensus estimate is currently 56 cents a share, dropping 12 cents from 68 cents during the matching period last year. The lowest analyst estimate this report is 47 cents per share, and the highest is 64 cents per share.

TheStreet's Tim Melvin writes about Microsoft in Perking Up to Tech Shares.

Analysts as a whole like this company, and so do I. Currently, Microsoft has 28 buy recommendations out of 40 analysts covering the company, along with 11 holds. One has given it a sell rating.

Sixteen out of 40 analysts now rate Microsoft a strong buy, up from 15 analysts a month ago. Compared to three months ago even more analysts are rating this company as a strong buy. The stock appreciated 13.5% in the last year, and the average analyst target price for Microsoft is $35.67.

I consider the recent fall in price to be more of a buying opportunity than a warning. The yield is strong enough to justify adding as the price declines. Microsoft currently pays an annualized dividend of 80 cents, yielding 2.73%.

The last reported short interest is paltry and without reason to consider it a meaningful influence at only 1.3% of the average trading float. MSFT Revenue Quarterly Chart MSFT Revenue Quarterly data by YCharts

INTC Chart INTC data by YCharts

Intel ( INTC)

Background: Intel designs, manufactures and sells integrated digital technology platforms primarily in the Asia-Pacific, the Americas, Europe and Japan. The company was founded in 1968 and is based in Santa Clara, Calif. Intel trades an average of 41 million shares per day with a market cap of $109 billion.

52-Week Range: $22.27 to $29.27

Book Value: $9.73

Price To Book: 2.2

Wall Street isn't expecting much this quarter. Earnings per share are expected to come in below last year for the same quarter. The third-quarter earnings release is scheduled after the market closes on Tuesday.

The consensus estimate is currently 50 cents a share, a decline of 15 cents (23.1%) from 65 cents during the corresponding period last year. Analysts are estimating as low as 47 cents per share, up to 54 cents per share.

TheStreet's Chris Laudani writes about Intel in Intel Does Not Compute.

Analysts have not reached a consensus. All else being equal, it's generally a bearish indication when the majority of analysts don't get behind a stock. Analysts love to push stocks, and no accord is almost the same as a sell rating. Twenty-eight out of 59 rate this a hold, 21 recommend buying and five recommend selling. The stock increased only 1% in the last year, and the average analyst target price for Intel is $25.56.

From a technical perspective, the chart on Intel looks intriguing. The 200-day moving average is climbing. At the same time, the price continues to fall and is now approaching the 200-day moving average support level. Regardless of this quarter's results, longer-term buy-and-hold investors should consider Intel as a strategic technology hold inside most portfolios.

Shareholders receive 86 cents annually in dividend payments. The yield based on a recent price is about 4%. The payout ratio is small enough to consider the dividend safe. Intel is my favorite stock pick in the technology sector reporting this week.

The short interest is slightly elevated, albeit not yet enough to make me worry. As long as it stays under 4%, I won't give it much thought. Short interest is 3.6%, and if it starts to trend higher I recommend monitoring for a possible exit. INTC Revenue Quarterly Chart INTC Revenue Quarterly data by YCharts

At the time of publication the author had no position in any of the stocks mentioned.

This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

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