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July 22, 2019, 10:55 a.m. EDT

Big Tech’s antitrust suspects enter earnings spotlight, along with Boeing and Tesla

Earnings Watch: Busiest week of the season includes three of the tech companies being investigated by feds

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By Emily Bary


MarketWatch photo illustration/Getty Images
Three of the four Big Tech companies being investigated for antitrust report earnings this week, with only Apple waiting for the next week.

Amid all the talk of antitrust, government regulation and cryptocurrency plans, it might be nice for Big Tech just to focus on earnings this week — unless they are bad, of course.

Three of the four Big Tech companies reportedly being investigated by the federal government for potential antitrust charges will report earnings this week, in Facebook Inc. /zigman2/quotes/205064656/composite FB -2.36% , Alphabet Inc. /zigman2/quotes/202490156/composite GOOGL -3.18%   /zigman2/quotes/205453964/composite GOOG -3.21% , and Amazon.com Inc. /zigman2/quotes/210331248/composite AMZN -3.10%  , while the fourth — Apple Inc. /zigman2/quotes/202934861/composite AAPL -4.62%  — waits for the next week. They will be joined by two other companies that have the full attention of Wall Street: Wounded airplane manufacturer Boeing Co. /zigman2/quotes/208579720/composite BA +0.45% and heavily doubted electric-car maker Tesla Inc. /zigman2/quotes/203558040/composite TSLA -4.84%  

Those reports are just a few of what will be a flurry of earnings in the busiest week of the season. More than a quarter of the S&P 500 index /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX -2.59%  and exactly a third of Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA -2.37%  components are expected to report by the time the bell rings on Friday.

Season preview: With trade tensions escalating, here are 5 things to know about this earnings season

Amid fears of a potential earnings recession, which would occur if S&P 500 earnings dropped for the second quarter in a row, the coming onslaught of reports will likely set the tone for the market. Trade will remain another key theme, as at least nine S&P 500 constituents have already blamed geopolitical issues for weak performance in recent weeks.

Here’s what to watch for this week.

Cars, trucks, and things that fly

The most important number for Tesla will be its sales outlook, after the car maker already reported better-than-expected deliveries for the second quarter but declined to restate its forecast as it did with first-quarter deliveries. Barclays analyst Brian Johnson is concerned about “demand pull forward” that could hurt Tesla’s second-half numbers, and will be looking for profit commentary given his view that the company “prioritizes delivery volume above margin.”

Tesla preview: Another quarterly loss is likely, but Wall Street is hoping demand remained intact

Boeing also reports Wednesday, but got a jump on the results this week. The company decided to be upfront about its continued 737 Max issues, disclosing that it expects to take a $5.6 billion hit to second-quarter revenue and pretax earnings as a result of the problems with these aircraft. The commentary struck Morgan Stanley analyst Rajeev Lalwani as a “positive” and “an opportunity to resume the upward narrative given a degree of clarity ahead.”

Boeing preview: Expect more on 737 Max fallout

JetBlue Airways Corp. /zigman2/quotes/207639051/composite JBLU -4.39% , American Airlines Group /zigman2/quotes/209207041/composite AAL -4.18% , and Southwest Airlines Co. /zigman2/quotes/201071949/composite LUV -1.23%  are also on the docket. Trucking company Paccar Inc. /zigman2/quotes/207923670/composite PCAR -2.96%  joins the transportation earnings parade with a Tuesday morning report.

Social standing

A flurry of big internet companies are on the docket for the week ahead, including Facebook, Alphabet, Twitter Inc. /zigman2/quotes/203180645/composite TWTR -2.80% , Amazon and Snap Inc. /zigman2/quotes/205087158/composite SNAP -3.30%  

Facebook will look to move the conversation “away from putting out privacy fires and back toward innovation,” according to Barclays analyst Ross Sandler. Though spending remains an issue for Facebook this year, Sandler will also be looking for signs that advertisers are coming around to the “stories” format. On Twitter, he’ll be watching for commentary on the company’s efforts to increase the number of ads it shows to users, especially since second-half results will be compared with a strong year-ago period.

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