With a slew of companies reporting earnings after hours, the traders are sifting through the results in an attempt get you a step ahead.
AFTER HOURS ACTION: MICROSOFT
Shares of Microsoft traded sideways in the aftermarket despite a profit and sales report that improved over last year due in part to strong results from Windows 7.
By the numbers, the software giant earned 51 cents a share in its fiscal fourth quarter ended June 10, a 48 percent increase over a year earlier, when Microsoft reported a profit of 36 cents a share.
The company said its revenue for the quarter grew to $16.04 billion, against $13.099 billion a year earlier.
Analysts who follow Microsoft had expected more modest earnings and sales growth. A consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters put Microsoft's per-share profit at 46 cents and its sales at $15.26 billion.
What should you make of it?
The earnings were okay but there’s no real compelling reason to get long, muses Guy Adami.
I just don’t see where the growth is going to come from, adds Pete Najarian. Heather Bellini of ISI has a $39 price target on this stock but I think after these results she revises it lower.
I do like the stock, says Tim Seymour. PC sales are doing well and the enterprise story is real. Considering the stock was over $30 just 6 weeks ago, it’s a name I’d buy on these results.
To buy Microsoft right here and hope MSFT trades to $30 with a 2% dividend yield is a great rate of return, adds Karen Finerman. It’s no different than owning Apple at $259 hoping it goes to $300. And if you're looking for a derrivative trade I like Corning .
> Click here for more coverage of Microsoft earnings
AFTER HOURS ACTION: AMAZON
Shares of Amazon slipped as much as 16% in extended trade after the company’s earnings sent investors running for the exits.
The move was particularly surprising because earlier in the week the company released a statement saying it's now selling more e-books than hardcover books - specifically, 143 e-books for every 100 hardcover books.
But that strength didn’t translate to profits. The online retailer reported second quarter earnings of 45 cents a share – analysts were expecting 54 cents a share according to Thomson Reuters.
However, sales did rise to $6.57 billion, up from $4.65 billion last year.
What’s the takeaway?
The bear in me would like to say this is a statement about the consumer but I don’t think it is, says Guy Adami. I think it’s just an operational miss.
The top line growth was very strong, counters Tim Boyd of MKM Partners. They're doing what they need to do during a period slow growth period and that's invest in the future. I'm a buyer of the weakness.
TOPPING THE TAPE: THE REST OF TECH
The Nasdaq finished Thursday as the biggest winner of the major indexes with almost all areas of technology higher including large caps, semis and internet names.
What’s the tech trade?
In the space, the stock I like most is IBM , says Guy Adami.
I like IBM’s story too, adds Pete Najarian. But the stock keeps running into resistance. Instead I'd look at the Apple feeder names such as Xilinx, Altera and Cirrus Logic. Also F5 Networks and Akamai are worth watching; these companies are all talking about growth.
I’m initiating a position in RIM , says Karen Finerman. At this valuation I think it’s attractive as a bet the BlackBerry won’t become an also-ran to the iPhone.
I’d watch Nokia , says Tim Seymour. They’re making progress in their attempts to compete with Apple. I think it goes to $10.20.
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Trader disclosure: On July 22, 2010, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money traders; Seymour owns (AAPL), (F), (MSFT) (NOK); Adami owns (AGU), (BTU), (NUE), (C), (GS), (INTC), (MSFT); Adami’s wife works at Merck; Finerman owns (AAPL); Finerman owns (C); Finerman owns (JPM); Finerman’s Firm owns (JPM); Finerman’s Firm owns (MCD); Finerman’s Firm owns (RIMM); Finerman’s Firm is short (IJR); Finerman’s Firm is short (MDY); Finerman’s Firm is short (SPY); Kelly owns (BP) puts; Kelly is short (GS); Pete Najarian owns (C) Calls; Pete Najarian owns (CNI); Pete Najarian owns (DD) Calls; Pete Najarian owns (MU) Call spread; Pete Najarian owns (RSH), short calls; Pete Najarian owns (SSCO); Pete Najarian owns (TCK); Pete Najarian owns (VLO)
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