Earnings Preview: What To Look For This Week With Yahoo, Microsoft And Others

Earnings reports from a slew of digital and traditional companies this week will offer a deeper look into the state of the media industry. Companies reporting range from Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) and Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) to *eBay* and *Netflix*.Here’s a guide:

— Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO)

When: Tuesday (after the market closes)

Key estimates: consensus estimates are net revenue of $1.2 billion, earnings-before-interest-taxes-depreciation-and-amortization (EBITDA) of $398 million, and earnings-per-share (EPS) of $0.08.

What to look for: The figures to watch most closely are display-advertising declines and search advertising declines at the company’s owned-and-operated sites. Consensus estimates call for 17 percent year-over-year declines for display and 1 percent search advertising declines. A surprise in either direction for display will have implications for the overall display advertising industry since Yahoo is the leader in that category with just under 30 percent market share. While Yahoo’s search market share is around 20 percent, its results are less an indicator of overall industry performance than Google’s.

Also, there have been strident rumors of further cutbacks coming at the company. Several news outlets reported last week that the company was planning to lay off several hundred employees and that it was shopping around job search service HotJobs. Look for updates from new CEO Carol Bartz.

— Apple

When: Wednesday (after the market closes)

Key estimates: consensus estimates call for revenue of $7.9 billion and EPS of $1.08.

What to look for: Sales results for the iPods and iPhones should provide a peek into consumer’s minds as results from the popular products are a fairly good indicator of consumer spending on and demand for tech products. Most analysts expect iPod revenue to decline 20 percent during the quarter and iPhones to have sold 3.3 million units (versus 4.4 million last quarter).

Microsoft, the New York Times Company (NYSE: NYT) and more, after the jump.

— Microsoft

When: Thursday (after the market close)

Key estimates: consensus estimates call for revenue of $14.1 billion; EPS of $0.39.

What to look for: Sales of the Xbox should indicate consumer’s appetite for gaming products, though Sony’s PlayStation and Nintendo’s Wii also represent a large portion of the console market. Most analysts look for Microsoft’s Entertainment and Devices revenue to grow about 4 percent during the quarter to $1.6 billion. The company also said last quarter that it would no longer be able to provide guidance for the remainder of the year “due to the volatility of market conditions.” Watch to see if the company reverses course this quarter, which would clearly be a sign that Microsoft believes market conditions are improving.

— New York Times Company

When: Tuesday (before the market opens)

Key estimates: Most analysts expect total revenue of about $620 million and a loss-per-share of $0.03.

What to look for: Those results would imply about 18 percent revenue declines for the newspaper group, which include the nation’s third-biggest daily. That’s not as bad as Gannett’s USA Today (though that paper has more national ads, which are performing worse than local currently), but still pretty bad. A surprise on the upside may indicate some life is still left in the newspaper industry, but this is unlikely.

Other companies reporting this week:

Wednesday: eBay (NSDQ: EBAY), *Journal Communications*

Thursday: *Amazon*, *Netflix*, *McClatchy*

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