Apple, LinkedIn, and Baidu: 3 Must-Watch Tech Earnings Reports Next Week

By Markets Fool.com

We're in the thick of earnings season with many of tech's most important names reporting either in the past week or in the week upcoming. It's a frenetic time of year, but one that in isolation won't make or break saving toward retirement for long-term investors.

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With that reminder fresh in our minds, let's take a look at three of the most important tech earnings reports for investors to watch in the coming week.

Apple -- Monday, April 27, 2015, after market close

Source: Wikimedia

It's generally expected that Apple will post an impressive follow-up to its historic earnings release in January, and I tend to agree. Riding high on momentum from a massive upgrade cycle, Apple's large-screened iPhone 6 and 6 Plus will likely feature front and center when Apple reports early next week. Here's what Wall Street is expecting on average from Apple and how it compares to the same quarter last year.

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FY Q2 '15 (Est.)

FY Q2 '14

% Change

Apple Sales ($Bil.)

$55.90

$45.70

22.3%

Apple EPS

$2.15

$1.66

29.5%

Source: Yahoo! Finance

Not to wax too poetic, but it's truly a remarkable feat for a company worth over $750 billion to still grow revenues and profits at a roughly 25% clip. What's more, there's a very fair case to be made that between its massive stockpile of $145 billion in net cash and numerous future growth opportunities (Watch, TV, auto, etc.) that Apple's a value stock, despite its monumental success and significant current tailwinds. How quickly some of its future growth drivers begin to make meaningful contributions to Apple's financial performance will likely prove pivotal in supporting Apple's multiple after its current iPhone cycle likely slows into next year. However, at the end of the day, there's still plenty for investors to like about Apple, even at today's massive market cap, and we'll likely see why once again on Monday.

Baidu -- Wednesday, April 29,8 p.m. Eastern time

Source: Wikimedia

Baidu is one of my favorite growth stocks for long-term tech investors, primarily because the scope of its big-picture market opportunity is so massive that the company enjoys years of runway before its growth should begin to slow. Here's how analysts believe Baidu should farein its upcoming report versus the same quarter last year.

FY Q2 '15

FY Q2 '14

% Change

Baidu Expected Sales ($Bil.)

$12.90

$9.50

35.8%

Baidu Expected EPS

$6.44

$7.21

-10.7%

Source: Yahoo! Finance

Don't let that EPS contraction figure scare you. Although spending has increased for Baidu to support growth opportunities like its video site iQiYi, mobile wallet, location-based services, and other emerging tech products, Baidu's profit margins have averaged 35% over the past three years. So while higher operating expenses will weigh on Baidu's year-over-year profit growth in its upcoming report, it's still a highly profitable enterprise that's setting the stage to continue to dominate the Chinese search business. And with Internet penetration in China still sitting below 50%, Baidu is poised for years of continued growth alongside this bigger-ticket trend.

LinkedIn -- Thursday, April 30,5 p.m. Eastern time

Source: Wikimedia

Business networking site LinkedIn has been a Fool favorite for years, and it doesn't take a significant amount of research to understand why. Said simply, LinkedIn's leadership in its high-growth category combined with its powerful three-pronged business model make it an outstanding pick to continue to grow for years to come. Here's what the market expects from next week's report.

FY Q2 '15

FY Q2 '14

% Change

LinkedIn Expected Sales ($Mil.)

$640.00

$473.19

35.3%

LinkedIn Expected EPS

$0.56

$0.38

47.4%

Source: Yahoo! Finance

There's also reason to believe LinkedIn's actual results might prove surprising. LinkedIn has a history of beating its own guidance. In fact, it's four for four over its past year in surpassing its own estimates. Don't take that as gospel truth necessarily, but it's certainly a trend worth noticing. LinkedIn is still making the transition to full-time profitability, so considering its market capitalization of over $32 billion, it's an expensive stock by any valuation metric you might use. However with an expected average annual growth rate of 40% over the next five years and the strong leadership of CEO Jeff Weiner, there are still plenty of reasons to be confident about LinkedIn's long-term prospects.

The article Apple, LinkedIn, and Baidu: 3 Must-Watch Tech Earnings Reports Next Week originally appeared on Fool.com.

Andrew Tonner owns shares of Apple and Baidu. The Motley Fool recommends Apple, Baidu, and LinkedIn. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, Baidu, and LinkedIn. 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.