It’s a tale of two companies in the technology world on Thursday. There’s Apple, whose quarterly profit beat expectations on strong iPod and Mac computer sales. And then there’s Microsoft, whose dismal earnings sent shockwaves through financial markets.
There should be plenty of interesting questions for CEO Steve Ballmer on the company’s conference call this morning — some of which he likely wouldn’t answer if asked.
Why didn’t Microsoft give investors a warning if the results were going to look so lousy? Why release the results Thursday morning rather than when it was supposed to, later this afternoon? What’s going on with Yahoo? Will 5,000 jobs cuts — the biggest ever by Microsoft — be sufficient? And, seriously, why is Apple doing such so much better?
Already, there is no shortage of opinions on what’s happening over at Microsoft, and more will tumble out after the conference call. For now, check out this Instant View by Reuters, which gives a pretty good idea of what Wall Street is thinking.
Or just read this comment by Frank Lesh, a futures analyst and broker at FuturePath Trading LLC in Chicago: “This is not good news for Microsoft, there’s nothing here to inspire buying, not even buying on weakness at this point.”