24/7 Wall St. wants some insight from readers ahead of earnings season. We have grouped four rival sectors to see which ones investors are more excited about this earnings season. This is a poll format, so it is an open vote from our readers. We cannot see who is voting nor how an individual vote comes out. We have grouped tech giants, telecom giants, Big Pharma and the banking giants. If we get enough votes, we will do more sectors this week as well.
As a specific reference point, by asking “Which earnings will be better?” we mean which one will be better received by investors. Having great earnings does no good for investors if the reaction to the announcement is poor and the stock falls out of bed. This will take you only five minutes and we really would like to see what your responses are ahead of these major earnings reports.
Apple vs. Microsoft
In the past, investors would have said hands-down that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) would do better. After all, no one cares about Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT). Now there are no Apple catalysts at the same time that Microsoft’s core PC market is weak. Apple’s stock has been pounded in 2013 and has lost close to 40% of its value from the peak, while Microsoft is up almost 8% so far in 2013. Which earnings report do you think will be better received by investors?
J.P. Morgan vs. Wells Fargo
Jamie Dimon has lost his voice box, now that the London Whale got him and his bank in so much trouble. Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) is squeaky clean and dominates the mortgage market in America. J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) trades under book value and Wells Fargo trades above book value. And Warren Buffett keeps adding to his Wells Fargo position. Both banks report this Friday, so which bank do you think will have better earnings?
Merck vs. Pfizer
The drug patent cliff is mostly behind these companies now. Both companies have recovered handily and seem to be navigating through Obamacare so far unscathed, before they have to start making huge contributions into health care. Dividend hikes have started to resume, and Merck & Co.’s (NYSE: MRK) yield is higher at 3.8%, versus Pfizer Inc.’s (NYSE: PFE) 3.3%. Pfizer shares are closer to their 52-week highs, versus Merck. Which pharmaceutical giant will do better with earnings in two weeks?
AT&T vs. Verizon
Calling out which telecom giant is better is often hard to do, but this time may be different. AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) yields 4.7%, versus 4.2% for Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ). Now both stocks are within about 1% to 2% of their 52-week highs, as well. AT&T’s large M&A ambitions seem to be behind it, while Verizon supposedly is still considering what to do regarding the Vodafone Group PLC (NASDAQ: VOD) 45% stake in Verizon Wireless. Which one will be better received in earnings season?
To mix things up and to keep them honest, we have set these polls to screen out multiple votes. We also have randomized the order of each poll from reader to reader. Thank you for participating.