Earnings Preview: Applied Materials, Roku, Dropbox, Livent and Deere

Here’s a preview of four U.S. firms that will be reporting results after markets close Thursday and one that reports before markets open Friday morning. Of these five firms, two represent the tech sector, one is a communications services firm, one is a lithium miner and the other is an industrial firm.

Applied Materials

Applied Materials Inc. (NASDAQ: AMAT) reports after the closing bell on Thursday. The company makes and sells a variety of manufacturing systems used to make semiconductor chips. More than half the company’s sales are to chip fabs, with the remaining 44% divided equally between memory chip and flash memory makers. Shares added 43% in 2020 and have gained another 32% since the beginning of the year.

Analysts expect first fiscal quarter 2021 earnings per share (EPS) of $1.28, a year-over-year jump of 31% on revenue of $4.97 billion, up nearly 20% compared to the same period of last year. The current estimates for the full 2021 fiscal year call for EPS of $5.12 and revenue of $19.9 billion.

The stock currently trades at around $114 a share, yielding a multiple of 22 times expected 2021 EPS and about 21 times expected earnings in 2022. Applied Materials pays an annual dividend of $0.88 (yield of 0.74%).


Roku Inc. (NASDAQ: ROKU) makes and sells devices and software that enable streaming video, along with selling advertising on its own platform. It was Roku’s move into attracting more ad dollars that led BofA analyst Ruplu Bhattacharya late last month to maintain his Buy rating and to increase his price objective on Roku stock from $380 to $500, the highest from 23 brokers.

The company has made a couple of recent acquisitions, both aimed at boosting its ad revenue, one by adding Quibi content and the other by buying ad-tech platform DataXu.

For the fourth quarter of the company’s 2020 fiscal year, analysts expect Roku to post a net loss per share of $0.06 on sales of $615 million, a 50% increase in sales, and nearly a 50% decline in the quarterly net loss. Analysts expect the company to report a full-year net loss of $0.74, nearly 50% larger than the loss in 2019 on revenue of $1.74 billion, up 54% year over year.

While the company is expected to post net losses both in 2020 and 2021, the stock trades at around 841 times expected 2022 earnings of around $0.53.


Cloud-based data storage company Dropbox Inc. (NASDAQ: DBX) offers a collaboration platform for its customers. The company laid off 315 staffers (about 11% of its total workforce) in mid-January and, at the same time, announced that Chief Operating Officer Olivia Nottebohm would leave the company in early February.

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