Companies providing gadgets, components, services, and related software have begun releasing earnings for the latest quarter. The reports come as consumers shift their spending toward phone and tablets and away from traditional PCs. Here’s a look at how selected companies are faring.
April 5: Estimates from Samsung Electronics Co. show that operating profit for the quarter grew 53 percent from a year earlier to $7.7 billion, outpacing expectations for what’s normally a slow time for consumer electronics sales. Analysts say Samsung benefited from smartphone sales and shortages in memory chips for PCs.
April 10: Research firms IDC and Gartner release reports showing unprecedented declines in sales of desktop and laptop machines during the first three months of 2013. IDC says first-quarter shipments of PCs fell 14 percent worldwide from a year earlier. That’s the deepest quarterly drop since the firm started tracking the industry in 1994. Gartner pegged the first-quarter decline at 11 percent. IDC vice president Bob O’Donnell says Microsoft’s release of Windows 8 in October not only didn’t boost the PC market, but appears to have slowed the market.
April 16: Intel Corp., the world’s largest maker of chips for PCs, remains steadfast amid the drastic slowdown in computer sales. It says it’s keeping its sales and margin forecasts for this year. Intel is helped by rising shipments of chips for servers. It says it shipped 7 percent fewer PC chips compared with a year earlier, but 6 percent more server chips. Intel meets analyst forecasts.
April 18: Microsoft says revenue and net income surged, but much the gains were due to the recognition of sales that occurred before the launch of the latest versions of Windows and Office. Its Windows division reports a 23 percent increase in revenue to $5.7 billion, but adjusting for the deferred revenue, revenue was flat.
IBM Corp. says net income fell 1 percent due to delays in closing several large software and mainframe computer deals. IBM is seen as a good gauge of tech demand because it sells to major companies and governments around the world. That said, it’s not immune from economic uncertainty and currency fluctuations, which showed in the quarter’s results.
Nokia’s report shows that it continues to take a hammering in the smartphone market, with quarterly revenue falling by 20 percent to $7.6 billion. Mobile phone sales volumes fell across the globe. The number of smartphones sold dropped 49 percent to 6.1 million units. Sales of other phones fell 21 percent to 55.8 million.
April 23: Apple Inc. says it will distribute $100 billion in cash to shareholders by the end of 2015. At the same time, it says revenue for the current quarter could fall from the year before, which would be the first decline in many years. Chief exexecutive Tim Cook also suggests Apple won’t release any new products until the fall, contrary to expectations that there would be a new iPhone and iPads this summer.
April 24: Chipmaker Qualcomm’s earnings and forecast fell in line with analyst estimates. But that disappointed investors spoiled by its recent run of success as the growing popularity of smartphones fueled demand for its mobile microprocessors. Although smartphone sales are still climbing, Qualcomm is facing fiercer competition from other chip makers, including Intel.
Data storage equipment maker EMC Corp. reports a small decline in first-quarter net income. The results fall short of Wall Street’s expectations as the pace of its revenue growth continued to slow. CEO Joseph Tucci says customers remain cautious about technology spending because of the ‘‘continuing tide of political and economic uncertainties.’’
April 26: Samsung says its profit jumped to a record high as smartphone sales remained strong despite the April launch of an updated version of its flagship Galaxy phone. Sales of consumer electronics usually slow down in the quarter after the holiday shopping season.
May 3: US Cellular Corp., the only major US wireless carrier to resist the iPhone, says it’s going to start selling it this year.
Coming up: Sony Corp., May 9; Hewlett-Packard Co. and Dell Inc., May 21; and Research in Motion Ltd., June 28.