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Tech Earnings: What to Expect From Yahoo and Intel

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Yahoo and Intel report tomorrow, and the outlook could hardly be more different.

For Yahoo, investor hopes are high as the stock approaches its best levels in five years. But the numbers behind Yahoo's stock are more sobering: The display advertising business looks weak, with Google and now Facebook adding inventory to the market and pushing down prices.

(Read More: Chief Tries to Infuse Yahoo With a Start-Up's Spirit )

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer coaxed a surprisingly strong performance from the search business in the holiday season, but it's not clear whether she can continue to grow that business without technical advances from Microsoft, Yahoo's search partner.

This time the Street's looking for $1.1 billion in revenue, up two percent from a year ago, and 24 cents in earnings per share.

The number to watch is Display ad revenue. It hasn't had decent growth in nearly two years, since the second quarter of 2011. And for Yahoo to meet Wall Street's expectations—which would mean hitting the top of its guidance range—display ads will have to deliver flat revenue (or just a slight loss) versus a year ago. Revenue from search and "Other revenue" will have to continue their growth from last quarter.

As for Intel, we expect to see revenues shrink by 2.3 percent to $12.6 billion, and earnings per share come in at 41 cents. The big question is how lackluster PC shipments in the first quarter, as reported by IDC, translated for Intel this time around; in past years the company managed to outperform research firm estimates because of hard-to-track sales in emerging markets.

(Read More: Power Down: Tablets Are Crushing PC Sales )

An important consideration: This is probably Paul Otellini's last earnings call before the chip giant names a new CEO. I'm sure he'll want to go out on an optimistic note, but I suspect that guidance-wise, the company will also want to avoid raising the bar too high for his successor. It will be interesting to hear how that plays out in the tone of the earnings release and conference call.

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