Did Intel And Amazon Finally Break The Sell On Earnings Beat Pattern Today?

Amazon (AMZN), Intel (INTC), and Microsoft (MSFT) all reported earnings after the close today.

All three beat earnings estimates–but this market hasn’t been very generous in rewarding earnings surprises (after Netflix (NFLX)) that is.  The key tests here are to see what the shares did in after-hours trading, after investors and traders saw the earnings news, and to see how the market treats these beats tomorrow.

After the market close today Amazon announced a tiny, little earnings beat–of $2.02 a share ($3.27 a share vs the $1.25 forecast.) Revue climbed 42.9% year over year to $51.04 billon against the Wall Street consensus of $49.94 billion Amazon Web Services reported a 49% gain in sales to $5.44 billion. For the second quarter the company forecast revenue of $51 billion to $54 billion vs the $52.24 billion Wall Street projection. Revenue will climb 34% to 42% from the second quarter of 2017. Amazon never increases its guidance on operating income but it did in today’s announcement: Projected operating income of $1.1 billion to $1.9 billion is well ahead of $1.14 billion Wall Street consensus.

Amazon also announced that it would increase the price of a Prime membership 20% to $119 a year.

During the day Amazon shares climbed 3.96% and then the shares gained 6.85% in after hours trading.

Intel beat by by $0.15 a share on earnings (87 cents instead of 72 cents), and revenue ($16.1 billion instead of $15.08 billion.) And the company issued guidance for the second water that was above the Wall Street consensus for earnings (80 cents to 90 cents a share instead of 82 cents.) For the full year the company raised guidance to earnings of $3.66 to $4.04 a share (from $3.55) and on revenue to $66.5 billion to $68.5 billion(from $65 billion. The company also noted that almost 50% of revenue in the quarter came from its data-centric businesses.

The stock hit an 18-year high after reporting, gaining 5.28% after picking up 3.25% during the day.

Microsoft delivered a more modest 10 cents a share earnings beat and a 15.5% year over year increase in revenue to $26.82 billion (versus the Wall Street projection of $25.78 billion) Revenue from the company’s Intelligent Cloud unit was $7.9 billion, an increase of 13% in the quarter. Commercial cloud revenue grew by 58%. The stock was down in after-hours trading until the company release guidance in its conference call. For the quarter that ends in June (fiscal fourth quarter) Microsoft sees revenue climbed to $28.8 billion to $29.5 billion versus the $28.08 billion Wall Street consensus.

The shares were up 2.11% during the day and then gained 3.01% in after-hours trading.

So far the market seems to be saying that if you deliver an impressive earnings surprise, say nothing about margins falling, and raise revenue and earnings guidance for the quarters ahead, then we’ll bid the stock higher. That’s not much of a bar to jump, is it?