A Sneak Peek of What to Expect From Microsoft Earnings Tonight

Tonight is the night. At least it is for Microsoft (NAS: MSFT) , which is on deck to report second-quarter earnings results tonight after the close.

Last quarter, the software giant reported record first-quarter sales of nearly $17.4 billion, which resulted in $0.68 in earnings per share. This bottom line was exactly what analysts were expecting, down to the penny. The Redmond giant had reported strong Windows 7 momentum, with over 450 million licenses sold since the operating system's launch. Microsoft had also given a sneak peek of Windows 8 at its BUILD developer conference late last year.

(Analyst) survey says...
On average, analysts are expecting earnings of $0.76 per share, with estimates ranging between $0.68 and $0.80. Of the 38 analysts covering Microsoft, 14 rate it a buy and another nine think it will outperform. One of them has slapped a sell rating on it, and another 14 consider it a hold. Although I'm far from a Wall Street analyst, I also recently gave it a hold rating.

Top-line revenue is expected to be about $20.9 billion, with high and low estimates of $21.4 billion and $20.2 billion.

Blame the floods
One of the headwinds that Microsoft likely faced during the quarter was the Thai floods, whose effects have rippled throughout the PC industry. The disaster left the hard drive industry in shambles, and it's awfully difficult to sell a PC running Windows without a hard drive. Chipmaker Intel (NAS: INTC) also recently cut guidance due to the floods.

The who's-who in tech
Speaking of Intel, the chip king is also set to report earnings tonight. That's not all, though. To round out the list of major tech giants reporting tonight, also keep an eye on IBM (NYS: IBM) and Google (NAS: GOOG) , since they'll also be putting up digits this evening.

Keep your eye on the ball
As always, you can expect some Foolish analysis to follow shortly after the results are revealed. Don't forget to keep these titans on your Watchlist to make sure you don't miss a beat. Start by adding them now.

At the time this article was published Fool contributor Evan Niu holds no position in any company mentioned. Click here to see his holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of International Business Machines, Google, Intel, and Microsoft. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Microsoft, Google, and Intel. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating bull call spread positions in Microsoft and Intel. 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.

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