A look at recent tech-industry earnings
Technology companies have begun releasing their earnings reports for the latest quarter. The reports come as consumers shift their spending toward tablets and a weak global economy curbs corporate spending on computers. They also come as Microsoft released a new version of Windows. Here is a summary of recent earnings and reports for selected technology companies and what they reveal about the state of spending and the overall economy.
— Oct. 5: Samsung Electronics Co. forecast another record quarterly operating profit, likely driven by strong sales of high-end smartphones that offset weak semiconductor orders. Samsung estimated that its July-September operating income nearly doubled to 8.1 trillion won ($7.3 billion) from 4.25 trillion won a year earlier. The result was better than the market consensus of 7.6 trillion won. Full results are expected Oct. 26.
— Oct. 16: Intel Corp., the world's largest chipmaker, says net income fell 14 percent from last year in the latest quarter, and it's looking at tough conditions in the new quarter. Intel blames a difficult global economy for declining sales, but analysts believe a shift in spending from PCs to tablets and smartphones may be contributing.
IBM Corp. says revenue slipped below Wall Street's expectations in the third quarter as the technology company dealt with jittery customers and a weakening euro that undercut its results. Despite the problems posed by the wobbly economy, IBM's earnings held steady.
— Oct. 17: eBay Inc. says its third-quarter net income grew 22 percent, helped by higher revenue at its PayPal payments service and the marketplaces business that includes eBay.com.
— Oct. 18: Google Inc. reports earnings and revenue that fell well below analyst projections. Most of Google's third-quarter headaches were concentrated in Motorola Mobility, the troubled cellphone maker that the company bought for $12.4 billion in May.
Microsoft Corp. says net income fell 22 percent in the latest quarter as it deferred revenue from the sale of its upcoming Windows 8 operating system to PC makers — and as PC sales in general took a dive. The economic troubles in Europe also weighed on results, which missed Wall Street expectations.
Chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices Inc. says it will cut nearly 1,800 jobs, about 15 percent of its workforce, by the end of the year in order to reduce spending in the face of dwindling sales.
Verizon Communications Inc. reports a blow-out number of new devices on its wireless network, boosted by the revolutionary Share Everything plan, which made it cheaper for households to add wireless service to non-phone devices like tablets and laptops. Verizon Wireless added a net 1.5 million devices to contract-based plans in the third quarter, more than it has in many years.
— Oct. 22: Yahoo Inc. issued a third-quarter earnings report that topped analyst estimates. Yahoo's net revenue barely grew at a time when advertisers are spending more money marketing their products and services online. But the numbers were slightly better than analysts projected. It's the first quarter under new CEO Marissa Mayer.
— Oct. 23: Facebook Inc. reports third-quarter results that inch past Wall Street's expectations, offering evidence that the company is making inroads in mobile advertising — a longtime concern among investors.
Netflix Inc. cut its prediction of how many video streaming subscribers it would add this year after its third-quarter additions of 1.2 million came in at the low end of the company's forecasts.
Apple refreshes its lineup of Mac computers and introduces a 13-inch MacBook Pro model with a sharper, Retina display. It announces new iMacs for later this year, along with a faster, full-sized iPad tablet and a smaller one called the iPad Mini.
— Oct. 24: Zynga Inc. reports stronger-than-expected revenue for the third quarter. The company, which has been trying to convince investors that it can revive growth, says it has signed a deal to offer online poker and casino games, played with real money, in the U.K. It plans to launch those games in the first half of 2013.
AT&T Inc. reports numbers showing the flow of customers to the carrier slowed further, putting the company far behind rival Verizon Wireless. AT&T added a net 151,000 new customers on contract-based plans from July through September, the lowest number for that period since at least 2003.
— Oct. 25: Apple Inc. warns that profits will be down in the holiday quarter compared with a year ago because it's releasing so many new products. When a production line is new, it costs more to run and the components are more expensive. In addition, earnings for the most-recent quarter missed Wall Street expectations.
Sprint Nextel Corp. says it lost overall subscribers for the first time in two and a half years in the third quarter, as customers gave up on the moribund Nextel network and the company failed to sign up enough of them on the Sprint network.
Amazon.com Inc. reports third-quarter results below Wall Street's expectations — including a large loss, weighed by its stake in online deals service LivingSocial and continued spending on its Kindle business and distribution centers.
— Oct. 26: Strong sales of Galaxy phones propelled Samsung Electronics Co.'s quarterly profit to a record high, but its shares dropped on the prospect its growth will slow in an increasingly crowded smartphone market.
Comcast Corp. says net income more than doubled in the third quarter, chiefly due to the sale of wireless spectrum and its stake in the A&E TV channel. Underlying results were strong, however, as cable TV saw fewer cancelations than expected and the expensive-to-produce London Olympics broke even on NBC.
Microsoft Corp. begins selling its Windows 8 operating system and Surface tablet computer.
— Nov. 1: Sony Corp. reports a smaller loss for the latest quarter on a sales recovery and restructuring efforts and sticks to its full-year forecast for a return to profit from its worst loss in company history the previous year.
LinkedIn Corp. outpaces Wall Street's expectations with its third-quarter results, solidifying its status as an investor favorite at a time when other Internet companies have fallen from grace.
— Thursday: Groupon Inc.
— Nov. 13: Cisco Systems Inc.
— Nov. 15: Dell Inc.
— Nov. 20: Hewlett-Packard Co.
— Dec. 20: Research In Motion Ltd.