Top 3 Earnings Today - Alibaba, Wal-Mart Beat, And Applied Materials, Inc. Preview

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) stock rises on strong earnings.

Top 3 earnings today - Alibaba Wal-Mart and Applied Materials

Updated: Alibaba has just reported its quarterly results. The e-commerce major reported solid growth, beating analysts' estimates and its own guidance. Revenue grew by 56%, towering above its own guidance of 45%-49%, and analysts' expectation of 48% YoY growth. Revenue from core commerce rose 58%, while cloud revenue grew 96%, digital media and entertainment revenue grew 30% and other initiatives revenue jumped 21%. Alibaba's non-GAAP EPS grew by a massive 62%. Alibaba shares are up by close to 5% in pre-market trade (at the time of updation).

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) is scheduled to report its June quarter earning on Thursday, August 17, before the market opens. Alibaba's upcoming earnings release has generated a lot of interest after the company issued strong guidance at its investor day event. Alibaba expects to clock solid revenue growth of 45%-49% in this fiscal year, which is impressive, given its growing revenue base. The e-commerce major expects to hit the $1 trillion Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) mark by 2020. Analysts are projecting a revenue of $7.15 billion for the quarter, representing a near 48% growth, closer to the higher end of the company's own projection. Analysts expect Alibaba to report non-GAAP earnings per share of $0.93, which translates to a healthy 25.7% YoY growth, up from $0.74 a share.

Alibaba beat analysts' full year revenue guidance last year, which raises expectations this time around. For the full year, Alibaba expects to earn revenue of $34.3 billion, which is higher than the $31.4 billion projection by the street. Alibaba has beaten the street's top line estimates in 7 of the last 8 quarters, an impressive feat. On the earnings front as well, the company has done a decent job, beating expectations in 5 out of the preceding 8 quarters, and meeting estimates on one occasion. Understandably, the stock has reflected this optimism, with BABA shares gaining by close to 82% in 2017 so far. BABA stock has delivered massive returns. However, that also elevates the risk in the context of today's earnings announcement. Either way, Alibaba's earnings release promises to be an interesting event today. For those interested, here's a detailed look at what to expect from BABA earnings today.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc (NYSE:WMT) reports good e-commerce growth.

Updated: Adjusted earnings per share came in at $1.08 a share, compared to estimates of $1.07 per share. Wal-Mart reported revenue of $123.36 billion versus the consensus estimate of $122.84 billion. Same store sales for U.S. stores, excluding fuel, climbed 1.7%, matching expectations, and e-commerce growth continued to impress, with online revenue rising 60% YoY. However, shares are down by about 2% pre-market, possibly because results didn't go way past expectations, while the stock has rallied rather heavily this year, by Wal-Mart's standards.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc (NYSE:WMT) is scheduled to release earnings before today's market open. After hitting a record high of close to $91 a share back in 2015, Wal-Mart hasn't been able to hold onto those levels. The stock currently trades at about $81 a share. However, returns this year have been encouraging, with investors pocketing returns of just under 20% in 2017 so far. Given that Wal-Mart shares have gained about 75% over the lest 10 years, and under 10% in the last 5 years, this year's rally tells you that optimism is high. Wal-Mart has been making some progress in the e-commerce space to curb the growing threat from e-commerce giant Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN).

Armed with the acquisition of, its 2 day delivery initiative and discounts on pick ups of orders, Wal-Mart has shown promise. Wal-Mart’s e-commerce revenue grew by an impressive 63% YoY in the first quarter this year, marking a significant improvement from the 29% growth it recorded in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017. Wal-Mart posted mixed results last quarter, with revenue missing estimates, and earnings beating them. Wal-Mart's revenue increased by 1.4% to $117.5 billion, partially dampened by forex fluctuations. And its earnings grew by 2% to touch $1 a share.

Analysts expect Wal-Mart to report earnings of $1.07/share, which is in line with the company's guidance range of $1 to $1.08. These number's suggest that earnings per share could be more or less flat YoY, given that Wal-Mart reported earnings of exactly $1.07 in the same quarter last year. Analysts are projecting a revenue of $122.72 billion, translating to a YoY growth of about 2%. Meanwhile, the so-called Whisper number, which is the street's unofficial view on earnings, is $1.08, implying a marginal beat. That said, clearly, progress on the e-commerce front is what investors will be keen to see. The deal to acquire Bonobos is also something investors will hope to hear more about.

Applied Materials Inc (NASDAQ:AMAT) poised for an interesting earnings release today.

Applied Materials Inc (NASDAQ:AMAT) is scheduled to report its fiscal third quarter 2017 earnings on Aug 17 after the bell.  Last quarter, the company delivered a positive earnings surprise of 3.95%. AMAT's surprise history has been pretty impressive, beating estimates in each of the last four quarters, with an average beat of 3.35%. This quarter, analysts expect Applied Material to deliver earnings of $0.84 per share, translating to a massive 68% YoY expansion in earnings per share. On the revenue front, AMAT is expected to deliver a top line of $3.69 billion, representing a near 31% YoY growth in sales.

AMAT stock has gained by a healthy 37% in 2017 so far. And if the company manages to beat earnings estimates this time around, that number could rise further. The company is positioned well in China, a region where it continues to see strong growth in semiconductor orders. Growing investments from Chinese domestic manufacturers is expected to to be the main catalysts going forward as well. Some analysts believe that there is scope for gains on the Display side of the business as well. New display technologies like OLED are opening up new opportunities for players like Applied Materials. However, with rumors that an acquisition could be in the pipeline, focus could shift entirely to such an announcement, should it come through in the earnings release or post earnings con-call with analysts.

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Vikram Nagarkar Vikram Nagarkar   on Amigobulls :

Neither Amigobulls, nor any members of its staff hold positions in any of the stocks discussed in this post. The author may not be a certified/registered investment advisor, and the opinions expressed should not be treated as investment advice.

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