Apple and Twitter, which announce quarterly earnings after the market’s close on Tuesday, might be considered companies at very different stations.
Apple is still â by a wide stretch â the most valuable company in the world. It generates more cash in a quarter than all but a handful of tech outfits generate in revenue. Its products are everywhere. And its financial performance in recent years has been so strong that anything other than exceeding expectations is met with disappointment.
Other than less-than-flattering movie portrayals of its famous co-founder, Apple is the company to which all the little tech companies aspire. As they have over the last few quarters, analysts will be watching to see how iPhones are selling in China. Theyâll also be looking for indications that Apple Pay and Apple Music are catching on â though both are probably still too small to move the financial needle.
And then thereâs Twitter. The social media darling of the media set is stuck in second gear. Growth has slowed. Jack Dorsey, the co-founder and first chief executive, has been brought back to right the ship (that is, when heâs not busy preparing his other company, Square, for an initial public offering).
Mr. Dorsey appears to have provided Twitter with a much-needed jolt of enthusiasm. But the hard job of getting more people to use his companyâs product appears daunting. As a result, when Twitter releases its results on Tuesday afternoon, Wall Street analysts are more likely to focus on what will happen rather than what has already passed.
Many analysts believe Twitter is still a company with enormous potential. Wall Street is eager to hear how Mr. Dorsey plans to unlock it.
Alibaba, a Chinese Internet company somewhere between the industry giant Apple and the struggling adolescent Twitter in the tech industry’s pecking order, also announced its quarterly results early on Tuesday. It appears that Alibaba has managed to shrug off its home countryâs recent economic turmoil. Sales rose 32 percent compared with the same period last year, better than analysts’ expectations. After the earnings release, Alibabaâs shares jumped almost 9 percent in premarket trading.