The Super Bowl of Tech Earnings: What to Watch When Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and Amazon R

By Markets Fool.com

On Feb. 1, the nation's attention will be raptly fixed on Arizona for the culmination of the NFL season -- the Super Bowl.

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The timing couldn't be more apropos for tech investors.

This upcoming week in a very literal sense represents the Super Bowl of tech earnings (pause here for eye roll). The five arguably most important tech companies in the world Microsoft , Apple , Facebook , Google , and Amazon.com will all report their earnings within a four-day period.

Here's what you need to know.

Microsoft earnings: 2:30 p.m. PST Monday, Jan. 26
Microsoft has been the talk of the town in the past week after it unveiled several savvy and/or impressive pieces of technology, including its next-generation Windows 10 operating system, new Spartan Web browser, and exciting HoloLens virtual reality headset.However, with each of these items still a ways off from availability, there's also the present to consider. Here are the average analyst estimates for Microsoft's report.

FY '15 Q2

FY '14 Q2

% Change

MSFT Expected Sales

$26.3 B

$24.5 B

7.3%

MSFT Expected EPS

$0.71

$0.78

-9%

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Source: Yahoo! Finance, Microsoft IR.

The top Microsoft investing storyline is its pivot away from its PC-era business model into a company that is ready to cater to the needs of the mobile and cloud generation. In this upcoming report, investors will want to watch for any information on the growth of Microsoft's Azure cloud computing platform, its smartphone and tablet mobile hardware offerings, and the ongoing adoption of its Office 365 service, among other key business segments.

Apple earnings: 5 p.m. EST Tuesday, Jan. 27
This is by far the report I'm most eager to see, and for good reason. It's widely expected that the combination of the newly released iPhone 6 and its typical strength during the holiday shopping months will propel Apple to all-time quarterly highs in virtually every key metric. Here's what analysts expect.

FY '15 Q1

FY '14 Q1

% Change

AAPL Expected Sales

$67.3 B

$57.6 B

16.8%

AAPL Expected EPS

$2.59

$2.07

25.1%

Source: Yahoo! Finance, Apple IR.

Even if Apple misses slightly on expectations, achieving double-digit growth is truly impressive for a company of this size. I'm more concerned about how Apple maintains that momentum later into the year.

Facebook earnings: 5 p.m. EST Wednesday, Jan. 28
With the social-media leader having beaten bottom-line expectations in each of the past four quarters, investors' hopes will again be highgoing into Facebook's earnings report. As you can see, analysts are calling for another monster quarter from Facebook.

FY '14 Q4

FY '13 Q4

% Change

FB Expected Sales

$3.8 B

$2.6 B

46.5%

FB Expected EPS

$0.48

$0.31

54.8%

Source: Yahoo! Finance, Facebook IR.

The Facebook investing storyline has been all about mobile for well over a year, and don't expect that narrative to change in this report. Can Facebook continue to add mobile users, and can it continue to monetize them? All signs strongly point to yes, as Facebook's core business model has come into its own in the years since its much-hyped IPO.

Google earnings: 1:30 p.m. PST Thursday, Jan. 29
Times are tough at the moment for the world's largest search engine, or as tough as they can be for Google, that is. Google's shares have shed roughly 10% of their value over the past six months as its struggles to monetize its sprawling hoard of Android users has converged with increased online ad competition from the likes of Facebook and Twitter to form a brutal one-two punch to Google's once-impenetrable money machine.

FY '14 Q4

FY '13 Q4

% Change

GOOG Expected Sales

$18.5 B

$16.9 B

9.5%

GOOG Expected EPS

N/A

$9.90

N/A

Source: Yahoo! Finance, Google IR.

Historically, top-line growth has not been Google's main issue. If the above revenue growth estimate proves correct, it will be only the second time Google's sales growth will have dipped below 10% since mid-2009. So at roughly 19 times earnings, and withplenty of sales growth left in the tank, there's a very real case to be made that Google represents a compelling buy today, particularly if you have faith it will eventually crank the Holy Grail of mobile monetization. However, that's unlikely to be the case in Google's report this week.

Amazon earnings: 5 p.m. EST Thursday, Jan. 29
After the e-commerce king was hammered for most of 2014, I made the bold, and very public, selection of Amazon asmy top tech stock to own in 2015. However, heading into its earnings on Thursday, most analysts clearly expect the same margin-tightening dynamics that have hampered Amazon's shares to continue to play out.

FY '14 Q4

FY '13 Q4

% Change

AMZN Expected Sales

$29.7 B

$25.6 B

16.1%

AMZN Expected EPS

$0.18

$0.51

-64.7%

Source: Yahoo! Finance, Amazon IR.

My core argument in Amazon's favor is all about the future. Namely, I suspect the investing public underappreciates the fact that Amazon sits at the center ofmultiple massive growth markets. My investing argument hinges on success over decades, not quarters. So while I'm as concerned as everyone else about yet another a post-earnings sell-off, I urge investors to dig a bit deeper into Amazon's long-term opportunity. Four decades from now, I'm confident Amazon will be a whole lot bigger and more profitable.

Plenty to digest
Earnings reports, especially for more volatile tech companies, can often bring a hefty helping of either joy or pain. Stocks in this space tend to rise and drop dramatically. However, it's always important to remember that the key to successful investing often lies in investing for the long term. So while you should never completely ignore a company's quarterly results, it's arguably more important to keep those reports in the proper perspective. Rome wasn't built in a day, after all.

The article The Super Bowl of Tech Earnings: What to Watch When Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and Amazon Report This Week originally appeared on Fool.com.

When he isn't researching tech stocks, like any good Arizonan, Andrew regularly overindulges in Mexican food. He's probably dreaming about carne asada as you read this.Andrew Tonneralso owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool recommends Amazon.com, Apple, Facebook, Google (A shares), Google (C shares), and Twitter. The Motley Fool owns shares of Amazon.com, Apple, Facebook, Google (A shares), Google (C shares), Microsoft, and Twitter. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.