There's so much expectation for growth around technology companies that earnings announcements, and unexpected headwinds like the huge dollar rally, can have a big short-term impact on the stock.
Investors have to resist the urge to sell a tech stock just because it missed a quarterly estimate or paid out more than expected in compensation.
Earnings brings a significant amount of volatility, so investors should take a look at these changes and decide if it's something temporary or more significant, said Robert Breza, a senior research analyst with Sterne Agee. But he added, "There's definitely a question of what's true growth right now."
It's that short-term vs. long-term horizon that Scandalios looks at when his companies run into trouble. If it looks like the miss is due to a problem that can be corrected within a few quarters, then he'll hang on to the stock. If it's clear that its three- to five-year outlook has changed, then he may sell it.
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In a sense, Scandalios has it "easier" trying to figure out what to do with Qualcomm, because the issue to analyze is acute rather than a general industry headwind causing a downward revision. Qualcomm had to revise its 2015 estimates because Samsung decided it wasn't going to use the company's semiconductor chip in its next smartphone. The chip didn't perform up to Samsung's expectations, he said.
Is that a major problem or just a misstep? That's what he's now trying to find out.
"I'm getting to the office at 5 a.m. to re-listen to the conference call. They've guided down their next three quarters. So now I'm going to talk to the company and other people to find out if they've been conservative enough. What assumptions are they making? What's really going on here?"