Stock Market

Earnings season for the fourth and final quarter of 2023 is drawing to a close, with many big names having already reported. Earnings season has been strong so far. In fact Q4 has proven to be the strongest quarter of 2023. With 79% of companies in the S&P 500 index having reported their financial results, 75% reported better-than-expected earnings and 65% beat expectations on revenue, according to FactSet.

The strong financial results across Corporate America have helped to sustain the stock market rally and got the markets off to a strong start to the year. While earnings are now winding down, there are still a few notable names left to report, and their prints could move the market higher or lower in coming days.

Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A/BRK.B)

Source: Jonathan Weiss / Shutterstock.com

There’s always lots of interest in the earnings of Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A/NYSE:BRK.B), the holding company of famed investor Warren Buffett. Analysts, shareholders and investors like to scrutinize the earnings report for any comments that are made on the state of the economy or market, as well as to see where the company’s cash pile stands and how the eclectic mix of businesses owned by Buffett has performed in recent months.

Berkshire is scheduled to report earnings after markets close on Feb. 23. Analysts expect the conglomerate, which owns businesses ranging from insurers to railroads, to report earnings per share (EPS) of $3.81 based on the Class B shares, and revenue of $88.42 billion. It will also be interesting to see where the company’s massive cash pile is at now. The company posted a record amount of cash on hand of $157.20 billion at the end of last year’s third quarter.

BRK.B stock has gained 35% over the last 12 months, including a 12% increase so far this year.

Salesforce (CRM)

Source: Sundry Photography / Shutterstock.com

Cloud computing giant Salesforce (NYSE:CRM) is scheduled to reports it latest earnings on Feb. 28 and expectations are high. The company’s previous earnings print, released last November, was a blowout and sent CRM stock up 10%. Analysts are looking for Salesforce to build on the growth with its Q4 2023 print. Forecasts are calling for the company to report EPS of $2.27 on revenue of $9.22 billion. Anything better than that and Salesforce’s stock can be expected to rise sharply.

An increase would build on the momentum CRM stock has going into its earnings announcement. So far in 2024, the company’s share price has risen 11%, bringing its 12-month gain to 74%. The stock is not far from its 52-week high heading into earnings and the shares are not cheap trading at 107 times future earnings estimates. Mixed or disappointing results will surely send the stock lower. But with other tech giant’s reporting strong cloud computing results, Salesforce could manage to beat forecasts for Q4 2023.

Dell Technologies (DELL)

Source: Ken Wolter / Shutterstock.com

Closing out earnings season on Feb. 29 (it’s a leap year) is Dell Technologies (NYSE:DELL). Analysts and investors will be watching the print for signs of a rebound in personal computer (PC) sales. Several chipmakers, such as Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) and Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD), complained about a continued slump in PC sales when releasing their own earnings reports. While PC shipments are expected to rise at some point this year, Dell’s earnings will tell us if the turnaround has started.

Analysts are expecting Dell to report EPS of $1.72 and sales of $22.17 billion for Q4 2023. Importantly, the upcoming print includes the holiday sales season and analysts who cover the company will surely be looking for signs that demand picked up between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Dell’s previous earnings for Q3 of last year were a mixed bag. The company’s revenue was hurt by ongoing weakness in corporate PC demand, though the company telegraphed that a rebound is coming this year.

Dell also pledged at the end of last year to increase its dividend payment to stockholders by 10% a year through 2028, and increased its share repurchase program by $5 billion. DELL stock is up 95% over the past 12 months, including a nearly 10% increase year to date.

On the date of publication, Joel Baglole did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

Joel Baglole has been a business journalist for 20 years. He spent five years as a staff reporter at The Wall Street Journal, and has also written for The Washington Post and Toronto Star newspapers, as well as financial websites such as The Motley Fool and Investopedia.

Articles You May Like

Now That the IPO Dust Has Settled, Is It the Right Time to Buy Reddit Stock?
3 Stocks to Sell ASAP as Wall Street’s ‘Fear Gauge’ Flashes Warning Signs
Why Smart Investors Can’t Ignore the Allure of Amazon’s Flywheel Effect
Bitcoin just completed its fourth-ever ‘halving,’ here’s what investors need to watch now
Beating the Fed: 3 Must-Own Stocks if Interest Rates Stay Put in 2024