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What to Look for in Google, Microsoft Earnings

Wednesday, 17 Apr 2013 | 12:44 PM ET
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We have a stacked day of earnings coming up on Thursday with Nokia, Google, IBM and Microsoft all reporting.

There will be two mega-themes: Mobile upstarts and enterprise demand.

(Read More: Yahoo Earnings Beat, but Revenue Disappoints )

For Nokia, which reports before the bell, investors will want evidence that smartphone shoppers are still buying Lumias, hopefully without too much discounting. Analysts are expecting revenue of $8.7 billion and a loss of five cents a share.

Guidance will be important here—for the June quarter, analysts want $9.3 billion in revenue and close to break-even.

(Read More: Tech Companies Are Doing It Wrong: Cisco Co-Founder )

With Microsoft and IBM, we'll get a great look at enterprise spending, and a sense of whether the headwinds Intel, Infosys and Oracle have faced are widespread. Intel's data center sales were up 7.5 percent in Tuesday's report, short of some analyst hopes, and we'll see if there's a read through to Microsoft's Server and Tools division and IBM's hardware unit.

(Read More: Intel Earnings Miss by a Penny; Revenue Hits Target )

And finally there's Google. Given the way executives have been talking up Motorola's future products in recent days, it's a safe bet that its smartphone numbers won't be spectacular. Analysts will want to see evidence that Google is managing the Motorola integration costs, and gauge the staying power of Nexus tablet sales.

Any of that could weigh on margins and EPS, though strength in Google's core search and display businesses have managed to make up for the drag so far.

(Read More: Google Earnings: What to Watch For)

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