This week in tech: A banner week for Apple; whiplash for AMD

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By Louis Juricic — Here is your weekly Pro Recap on the past week’s most momentous tech headlines: Solid earnings out of Apple and Square, a whipsaw week for AMD, soft guidance from Qualcomm, and a narrower loss than expected at Coinbase.

InvestingPro subscribers got these headlines in real time, giving them a chance to rapidly readjust their portfolios. See for yourself by starting a 7-day free trial.

Apple comes out ahead

On Thursday Apple Inc (NASDAQ:) topped first-quarter estimates with earnings per share of $1.54 vs. the $1.43 average analyst estimate, driven by stronger-than-expected iPhone sales.

Apple also boosted its dividend and announced a $90 billion share buyback program.

Goldman Sachs raised the price target to $209 per share on Buy-rated AAPL stock after “strong” results:

“We gain confidence in our Buy rating and believe AAPL shares continue to be attractive.”

KeyBanc also hiked the price target, to $180 per share from the prior $177, noting that Emerging Markets strength a the tech giant offloaded weaker U.S. results.

Shares were up more than 2% for the week.

AMD’s roller coaster week

Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:) reported a better-than-expected Q1 on Tuesday but issued disappointing guidance, triggering a 9% selloff in the shares in the next session.

BofA cut the stock to Neutral from Buy, citing a “range of headwinds” including “aggressive pricing/promotion pressure from main rival Intel (NASDAQ:).”

Citi, for its part, raised the price target on AMD stock to $85 per share, and BMO highlighted the company’s continued market share gains against Intel.

Then, on Thursday afternoon, shares clawed most of their way back following a story from Bloomberg that said Microsoft (NASDAQ:) is helping finance AMD’s expansion into AI chips.

Microsoft and AMD have teamed to create an alternative to Nvidia (NASDAQ:) processors for artificial intelligence, the report said, citing people with knowledge of the matter. Microsoft will provide financial support to bolster AMD’s efforts, as it works with the chipmaker on a homegrown Microsoft processor for AI workloads.

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AMD shares were ultimately off about 1% for the week.

Qualcomm’s weak guidance

Qualcomm (NASDAQ:) shares slid after the company forecasted far lower-than-anticipated results for is fiscal third quarter: The company expects 3Q23 EPS in the range of $1.70-$1.90, compared with the consensus of $2.20, and revenue in the range of $8.1-8.9B, compared to the consensus of $9.25B.

Q2 earnings of $2.15 per share were in line with expectations.

The company said demand for smartphones had deteriorated as China remains weak, calling the macroeconomic environment “challenging.”

Mizuho cut the price target by $10 to $140. As InvestingPro reported in real time, Deutsche Bank cut the company’s price target to $130 from the prior $150 while maintaining its Buy rating.

Deutsche called the guidance “disappointing by any measure” but also believes the company “should be an attractive beneficiary of the eventual cyclical rebound once one actually occurs (not a matter of if, but rather when).”

Shares sank more than 7% for the week.

Block’s robust Q1

Block (NYSE:) shares initially bumped higher after the fintech name reported better-than-expected Q1 results: earnings per share of $0.40 vs. Wall Street’s estimate of $0.35, and above-par revenue of $4.99 billion.

For the full year, the company raised its full-year adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) forecast to $1.36 billion, up from the prior $1.3B.

Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan were both positive on the stock after earnings. JPMorgan sees more room for further upside, calling its operating leverage potential “underappreciated by the market.” It added, “SQ remains one of our favorite ideas.”

For the week, though, shares slipped 2.5%.

Coinbase ekes out a beat

Coinbase’s Q1 results were better than feared, driven by cost cuts and a jump in subscription revenue: The company lost just $0.34 per share, far better than expectations for $1.39 in the red.

After its Thursday report, shares were trading about 9% higher.

Looking ahead, the company said it expected subscription and services revenue to fall in the second quarter. For the full year it continues to seek to improve full-year 2023 adjusted EBITDA in absolute dollar terms versus full-year 2022.

BofA said the results were solid but that big fundamental questions remain unanswered about the company, and maintained its Underperform rating on Coinbase (NASDAQ:): “We continue to think retail crypto volumes will remain weak and the regulatory overhang will linger for some time,” the analyst said in a note.

Barclays lowered the price target to $61 from $74 per share. The analyst highlighted an uplift in retail take rate, while also noting that this trend may not prove to be sustainable.

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Senad Karaahmetovic and Davit Kirakosyan contributed to this report.

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