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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Intel, IBM, Oracle, Cisco and Microsoft

CHICAGO, Jan. 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include the Intel Corp. (Nasdaq:INTC-Free Report), IBM (NYSE:IBM-Free Report), Oracle (NYSE:ORCL-Free Report), Cisco (Nasdaq:CSCO-Free Report) and Microsoft (Nasdaq:MSFT-Free Report).

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Here are highlights from Thursday's Analyst Blog:

Intel Beats Revs, Misses EPS, Guides Flat

After the bell Thursday, Intel Corp. (Nasdaq:INTC-Free Report) reported its 4th quarter and fiscal 2013 earnings. The giant chipmaker missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings per share (EPS) by a penny (51 cents) but produced sales about $100K higher than expectations ($13.8 billion) for the quarter.

We've gotten used to these types of reports from Intel over the past several quarters; analysts rarely revise their earnings estimates for the company, and whether Intel beats or misses, the surprise is typically in the single-digits percentage-wise.

Why INTC stock is falling in the after-market, however -- aside from traders climbing down a bit from the 52-week highs set for the shares on Wednesday -- may have more to do with fiscal 2014 guidance, which is "approximately flat" with the $52.7 billion the company brought in for fiscal 2013. Why this carries extra weight is because Intel investors -- and that of its contemporaries like IBM (NYSE:IBM-Free Report), Oracle (NYSE:ORCL-Free Report) and Cisco (Nasdaq:CSCO-Free Report), as well -- are still awaiting increased enterprise spending, which has been lackluster of late. Apparently, as of now Intel doesn't see this picking up materially over the next 12 months, either.

In addition, the long, slow migration from PC desktop chips to mobile units is another of Intel's big challenges. While all the big chip-makers have been losing market share to those companies more laser-focused on smartphones and tablets, Intel's early reporting slot for earnings season helps telegraph a bit of what we may expect to see from other Big Tech firms like Microsoft (Nasdaq:MSFT-Free Report) in the weeks ahead.

What Intel's earnings report indicates is that, on both the cyclical corporate spending narrative and the secular shift out of desktop equipment, conditions remain in "slog-through" mode. Perhaps they're practicing the art of low expectations going forward, but finishing off the previous year's final quarter with a minor negative earnings surprise doesn't really show much of a silver lining. Let's see what the other Big Tech firms have to offer next.

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit http://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

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