Tech ETFs to Gain on Upbeat Apple, Microsoft Earnings

After the closing bell on Thursday, a couple of tech biggest players like Apple Inc. AAPL and Microsoft MSFT reported their quarterly results. Both tech titans topped revenue and earnings estimates, making technology ETFs excellent choices to play the upbeat results (see: all the Technology ETFs here).

Lets’ take a quick look on the major details of their earnings releases:

Apple Earnings At A Glance

Earnings per share came in at $1.30 in the fiscal third-quarter 2021, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by $1.00 and doubling year over year. Revenues increased 36{3a9e182fe41da4ec11ee3596d5aeb8604cbf6806e2ad0e1498384eba6cf2307e} year over year to $81.46 billion and edged past the estimate of $73.14 billion. Robust results came on the back of strong sales of high-end 5G iPhones and strong gains in subscription bundles. Additionally, strong sales came from China where customers are buying accessories such as the Apple Watch to pair with their iPhones.
 
Notably, Apple generated new revenue records in each of the geographic segments, double-digit growth in each of the product categories, and a new all-time high for installed base of active devices. iPhone sales jumped 50{3a9e182fe41da4ec11ee3596d5aeb8604cbf6806e2ad0e1498384eba6cf2307e} to a $39.6 billion on higher demand for 5G phones. Services revenues, comprising iTunes, Apple Music, iCloud, Apple Pay and Apple Care, climbed 33{3a9e182fe41da4ec11ee3596d5aeb8604cbf6806e2ad0e1498384eba6cf2307e} year over year to a record $17.5 billion. Revenues from Wearables, Home and Accessories, which include Apple Watch, AirPods, HomePod, Apple TV and Beats headphones, soared 36{3a9e182fe41da4ec11ee3596d5aeb8604cbf6806e2ad0e1498384eba6cf2307e} to a record $8.7 billion. iPad and Mac sales increased 11.9{3a9e182fe41da4ec11ee3596d5aeb8604cbf6806e2ad0e1498384eba6cf2307e} and 16.3{3a9e182fe41da4ec11ee3596d5aeb8604cbf6806e2ad0e1498384eba6cf2307e}, respectively. Meanwhile, sales in Greater China jumped 58{3a9e182fe41da4ec11ee3596d5aeb8604cbf6806e2ad0e1498384eba6cf2307e} year over year.

The gadget-maker expects revenues to grow by “strong double digits” year over year in the fiscal fourth quarter but below the 36.4{3a9e182fe41da4ec11ee3596d5aeb8604cbf6806e2ad0e1498384eba6cf2307e} rate reported in the fiscal third quarter due to the ongoing supply constraints resulting from a shortage of computer chips (read: Apple ETFs at Record High: Further Potential on iPhone Optimism).

Despite the solid result, shares of Apple slipped as much as 2.9{3a9e182fe41da4ec11ee3596d5aeb8604cbf6806e2ad0e1498384eba6cf2307e} in after-hours trade on warnings over slowdown in sales growth. The stock currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) and a VGM Score of B.

Microsoft Earnings At A Glance

Microsoft continued a long track of beating earnings estimate and topped the revenue estimate driven by booming cloud-computing demand and big gains at LinkedIn unit. Earnings per share came in at $2.17, outpacing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.90 and improving 49{3a9e182fe41da4ec11ee3596d5aeb8604cbf6806e2ad0e1498384eba6cf2307e} from the year-ago quarter. Investors should note that Microsoft has not missed on quarterly earnings since third-quarter fiscal 2016. Revenues grew 21{3a9e182fe41da4ec11ee3596d5aeb8604cbf6806e2ad0e1498384eba6cf2307e} year over year to $46.2 billion, topping the consensus estimate of $44.1 billion.

Growing demand for cloud computing services and software tools that support at-home workers led to the robust performance. Growth of the flagship Azure computing platform rose 51{3a9e182fe41da4ec11ee3596d5aeb8604cbf6806e2ad0e1498384eba6cf2307e} in the fiscal fourth quarter. Sales of Office 365 Commercial and Dynamic 365 climbed 25{3a9e182fe41da4ec11ee3596d5aeb8604cbf6806e2ad0e1498384eba6cf2307e} and 49{3a9e182fe41da4ec11ee3596d5aeb8604cbf6806e2ad0e1498384eba6cf2307e}, respectively. Microsoft’s gaming revenues jumped 11{3a9e182fe41da4ec11ee3596d5aeb8604cbf6806e2ad0e1498384eba6cf2307e} year over year while LinkedIn revenues rose 46{3a9e182fe41da4ec11ee3596d5aeb8604cbf6806e2ad0e1498384eba6cf2307e}. Meanwhile, Microsoft Teams reached 250 million daily active users at the end of the reported quarter.

For the full fiscal year, the world’s largest software maker achieved record-breaking year with more than $60 billion in profit and $165 billion in sales (read: Microsoft Tops $2 Trillion Market Cap: ETFs in Focus).

After slipping 2.5{3a9e182fe41da4ec11ee3596d5aeb8604cbf6806e2ad0e1498384eba6cf2307e} initially following the earnings results, the stock gained 1.2{3a9e182fe41da4ec11ee3596d5aeb8604cbf6806e2ad0e1498384eba6cf2307e} in after-market hours. Microsoft has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) and a Growth Score of B.

ETFs to Buy

Investors’ seeking to bet on the solid earnings releases of these tech giants with lower risk could definitely look into the ETF world. While there are several ETF options available in the market, we have highlighted five technology ETFs that have Apple and Microsoft as the top two holdings in their roster. All these funds have a Zacks ETF Rank #2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold).

iShares Dow Jones US Technology ETF IYW

This ETF tracks the Dow Jones US Technology Index, giving investors exposure to 159 technology stocks. Apple and Microsoft account for 18.6{3a9e182fe41da4ec11ee3596d5aeb8604cbf6806e2ad0e1498384eba6cf2307e} and 17.3{3a9e182fe41da4ec11ee3596d5aeb8604cbf6806e2ad0e1498384eba6cf2307e} of assets, respectively. The fund has AUM of $8.2 billion while charging 43 bps in fees and expenses. Volume is good as it exchanges nearly 403,000 shares in hand a day.

Select Sector SPDR Technology ETF XLK

This most-popular technology ETF follows the Technology Select Sector Index and has $44.8 billion in AUM. This fund trades in heavy volume of 6.5 million shares and charges 12 bps in fees per year. In total, the fund holds about 74 securities in its basket with Apple and Microsoft making up for 22.4{3a9e182fe41da4ec11ee3596d5aeb8604cbf6806e2ad0e1498384eba6cf2307e} and 20.8{3a9e182fe41da4ec11ee3596d5aeb8604cbf6806e2ad0e1498384eba6cf2307e} of the assets, respectively (read: 3 Solid Reasons to Bet on Big Tech ETFs and Stocks).

Vanguard Information Technology ETF VGT

This fund manages about $50 billion in its asset base and provides exposure to 357 technology stocks by tracking the MSCI US Investable Market Information Technology 25/50 Index. Here also, Apple and Microsoft account for 19.5{3a9e182fe41da4ec11ee3596d5aeb8604cbf6806e2ad0e1498384eba6cf2307e} and 16.5{3a9e182fe41da4ec11ee3596d5aeb8604cbf6806e2ad0e1498384eba6cf2307e} share, respectively. The ETF has 0.10{3a9e182fe41da4ec11ee3596d5aeb8604cbf6806e2ad0e1498384eba6cf2307e} in expense ratio while volume is solid at nearly 451,000 shares.

MSCI Information Technology Index ETF FTEC

This fund is home to 352 technology stocks with AUM of $6.2 billion. It follows the MSCI USA IMI Information Technology Index. Apple and Microsoft make up for a respective 19.5{3a9e182fe41da4ec11ee3596d5aeb8604cbf6806e2ad0e1498384eba6cf2307e} and 16.5{3a9e182fe41da4ec11ee3596d5aeb8604cbf6806e2ad0e1498384eba6cf2307e} share. The ETF has 0.08{3a9e182fe41da4ec11ee3596d5aeb8604cbf6806e2ad0e1498384eba6cf2307e} in expense ratio while volume is good at 270,000 shares a day.

iShares Expanded Tech Sector ETF IGM

This ETF tracks the S&P North American Technology Sector Index, giving investors exposure to the technology sector, and technology-related companies in the communication services and consumer discretionary sectors. Holding 332 stocks in its basket, Apple and Microsoft account for nearly 9{3a9e182fe41da4ec11ee3596d5aeb8604cbf6806e2ad0e1498384eba6cf2307e} share each. The fund has AUM of $3.7 billion and charges 46 bps in annual fees. It trades in a light volume of nearly 36,000 shares in hand a day.

Zacks Names “Single Best Pick to Double”

From thousands of stocks, 5 Zacks experts each have chosen their favorite to skyrocket +100{3a9e182fe41da4ec11ee3596d5aeb8604cbf6806e2ad0e1498384eba6cf2307e} or more in months to come. From those 5, Director of Research Sheraz Mian hand-picks one to have the most explosive upside of all.

You know this company from its past glory days, but few would expect that it’s poised for a monster turnaround. Fresh from a successful repositioning and flush with A-list celeb endorsements, it could rival or surpass other recent Zacks’ Stocks Set to Double like Boston Beer Company which shot up +143.0{3a9e182fe41da4ec11ee3596d5aeb8604cbf6806e2ad0e1498384eba6cf2307e} in a little more than 9 months and Nvidia which boomed +175.9{3a9e182fe41da4ec11ee3596d5aeb8604cbf6806e2ad0e1498384eba6cf2307e} in one year.

Free: See Our Top Stock and 4 Runners Up >>

Click to get this free report

Apple Inc. (AAPL): Free Stock Analysis Report

Microsoft Corporation (MSFT): Free Stock Analysis Report

Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK): ETF Research Reports

Fidelity MSCI Information Technology Index ETF (FTEC): ETF Research Reports

iShares U.S. Technology ETF (IYW): ETF Research Reports

Vanguard Information Technology ETF (VGT): ETF Research Reports

iShares Expanded Tech Sector ETF (IGM): ETF Research Reports

To read this article on Zacks.com click here.

Zacks Investment Research

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Ellen C. McGowan

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