US Tech Earnings Season Recap: What’s up with AAPL, MSFT, AMZN, and GOOG?

Despite this unanimously strong fundamental data, traders have been rather stingy in awarding earnings beats with bullish price action.

Tech (2)

The four biggest publicly-traded US stocks (Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, and Alphabet/Google) all reported earnings in the past week, and they absolutely obliterated analysts’ estimates:

  • AAPL: $1.40 in EPS (vs. $0.99 eyed) on $89.6B in revenues (vs. $77.3B eyed)
  • MSFT: $1.95 in EPS (vs. $1.78 eyed) on $41.7B in revenues (vs. 41.1B eyed)
  • AMZN: $15.79 in EPS (vs. $9.56 eyed) on $108.5B in revenues (vs. $104.5B eyed)
  • GOOG: $26.29 in EPS (vs. $15.82 eyed) on $55.3B in revenues (vs. $51.7B eyed)

Despite this unanimously strong fundamental data, traders have been rather stingy in awarding earnings beats with bullish price action. As Bespoke Research noted, so-called “triple plays” (stocks that raised guidance and beat both revenue and earnings estimates) have risen only 2.6% this earnings season, well below the 10-year average of 5.3%. In other words, the stocks that have crushed their earnings estimates so far this quarter are only rising by half as much as usual.

We’ve seen this dynamic at play with these previously unstoppable tech behemoths as well. Here is the week-to-date performance as of Friday afternoon for each stock:

  • AAPL: -1.4%
  • MSFT: -3.6%
  • AMZN: +4.8%
  • GOOG: +4.2%

To be sure, any time a $1T+ company can meaningfully increase its market cap, that’s a notable development, but surely investors in AAPL and MSFT (and arguably even GOOG and AMZN) would have expected a substantially better reaction to blowout earnings numbers.

So what’s happening here?

One factor we highlighted in our tech earnings preview report was the risk that these firms, which had been among the biggest winners of the pandemic, could become laggards as the developed world emerges from pandemic-era lockdowns and restrictions. The disappointing price performance for most of these names this week suggests that investors recognize this risk and are hesitant to push these stocks meaningfully higher when other sectors may be poised for a more powerful comeback.

That said, the balance sheets, cash flow generation, and general business prospects for each of these firms is impeccable, so an immediate crash is unlikely. Instead, traders may simply continue to rotate out of these massive stocks and into areas of the market where outperforming last year’s pandemic-depressed comparable figures is a cinch.

After their stocks dramatically outperformed their underlying business prospects in 2020, 2021 may be the year where these stocks tread water despite gradually improving business prospects.

Source: TradingView, StoneX

Learn more about equity trading opportunities.

More from Tech Stocks


This report is intended for general circulation only. It should not be construed as a recommendation, or an offer (or solicitation of an offer) to buy or sell any financial products. The information provided does not take into account your specific investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs. Before you act on any recommendation that may be contained in this report, independent advice ought to be sought from a financial adviser regarding the suitability of the investment product, taking into account your specific investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs.

StoneX Financial Pte. Ltd., may distribute reports produced by its respective foreign entities or affiliates within the StoneX group of companies or third parties pursuant to an arrangement under Regulation 32C of the Financial Advisers Regulations. Where the report is distributed to a person in Singapore who is not an accredited investor, expert investor or an institutional investor (as defined in the Securities Futures Act), StoneX Financial Pte. Ltd. accepts legal responsibility to such persons for the contents of the report only to the extent required by law. Singapore recipients should contact StoneX Financial Pte. Ltd. at 6826 9988 for matters arising from, or in connection with the report.

In the case of all other recipients of this report, to the extent permitted by applicable laws and regulations neither StoneX Financial Pte. Ltd. nor its associated companies will be responsible or liable for any loss or damage incurred arising out of, or in connection with, any use of the information contained in this report and all such liability is hereby expressly disclaimed. No representation or warranty is made, express or implied, that the content of this report is complete or accurate.

StoneX Financial Pte. Ltd. is not under any obligation to update this report.

Trading CFDs and FX on margin carries a high level of risk that may not be suitable for some investors. Consider your investment objectives, level of experience, financial resources, risk appetite and other relevant circumstances carefully. The possibility exists that you could lose some or all of your investments, including your initial deposits. If in doubt, please seek independent expert advice. Visit for the complete Risk Disclosure Statement.