Written by Chris Lau
CHRIS LAU, KAPITALL: When the market closes on Tuesday April 23, many tech investors will be focused on Apple (AAPL) when the company reports earnings. Away from the limelight are the following tech companies that will also be reporting their quarterly results: (More from Chris Lau: Scrutinizing the Real Threat of Virtual Money) Analysts downgraded Broadcom (BRCM) ahead of quarterly results, citing integrated platforms as a threat to its combo chip business. Barclays cited weak sales in PCs as a reason to expect less from the company. On April 17, the semiconductor sector sold off, led by an earnings warning from Linear Technology ( LLTC ) and Cirrus Logic ( CRUS ). LED maker Cree, Inc. (CREE) is at a 52-week high. Traders tried on multiple occasions since March to bid shares past $55.54. In March, the company raised Q3 guidance, expecting earnings to be $0.31 – $0.36 per share on revenue of $335 million – $350 million. The company previously guided earnings of $0.30 – $0.35 per share. Cree trades with a “price of profitability” (or forward P/E) of 42, as measured by Kapitall’s tools. Juniper Networks (JNPR), whose shares have a forward P/E of 19, is down 25.5% from a 52-week high reached in February 2013. Investors sold shares in the company after F5 (FFIV) reported a weak quarter. Juniper recently announced a programmable switch, the EX9200, an SDN (software-defined network) solution. High hopes for RF Micro Devices (RFMD) are priced in for the company, as shares closed at $5.30, 3.6% below a 52-week high. Cannaccord analysts upgraded RF Micro on April 1, setting a $7 target price. The basis of the upgrade was share gain potentiated by 4G LTE solutions. Virtualization software giant VMware, Inc. (VMW) is touching a 52-week low at $73.79, even though analysts are bullish on the company. Weakness from F5 does not give confidence that VMWare will beat expectations. Analysts expect VMWare to generate 15% growth in revenue in 2013 and in 2014. Growth is expected to be led by the expansion of cloud and data center management tools. SDN solutions are expected to help, too. On March 13, VMWare lowered full-year revenue guidance to $5.12 billion – $5.24 billion.