Earnings-Proof Tech Plays: 3 Stocks Set to Stay Hot Beyond Reporting Season

Stocks to buy

Depending on where you look, there has been quite a tough crowd of investors to please this earnings season. Indeed, some companies still managed to blow away the numbers. But many firms ran into a road bump, with softer guidance causing investors to sell, even as the quarterly numbers came in just fine (or even ahead of expectations).

Indeed, there are unique applaud-worthy cases, like Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), which sweetened its quarterly showing with a record-breaking share buyback on top of a better-than-expected quarter. Still, not every firm has pockets deep enough to buy back $110 billion worth of shares to top off an already sweet quarter.

Expecting higher guidance alongside big earnings and sales beats every quarter is unrealistic. Even the best companies can’t pull it off every earnings season. As expectations get too high, so do the potential downside risks of falling short going into earnings season.

Three earnings-resilient tech stocks will stay hot after their recent quarterly showings. Though no firm is immune from post-earnings plunges, I see each firm as having plenty of gas in the tank to keep going strong in the second half.

Apple (AAPL)

Source: Yalcin Sonat / Shutterstock.com

There was a lot to look at in the latest quarterly results for Apple. The big headline was, of course, the historic buyback. Beyond that, iPhone sales were looking rather sluggish, and China remained a notable weak spot (not as weak as expected, though) as economic headwinds and competition weighed.

That said, Apple CEO Tim Cook sounded optimistic about the Chinese market. Along with a Greater Chinese result (8% year-over-year fall in revenue) that was better than feared, things may just be looking up for Apple after many months’ worth of ominous headlines that shed light on the fact the iPhone is no longer the number-one smartphone seller in China.

Undoubtedly, the iPhone has been facing a great deal of competitive pressures in China of late. But just because the iPhone slipped from the top spot in the region does not mean it can’t be regained in the future. Perhaps Apple will succeed more with its iPhone 16 in China if it’s packed with innovations that set it apart.

Either way, I find expectations for the iPhone in China to still be quite muted and wouldn’t be surprised if the latest, surprisingly decent quarter helps AAPL stock sustain a return to its all-time highs again. Apple may not be “earnings-proof,” but it is worth holding through even the most jittery of earnings seasons. The latest numbers show us why it’s a bad idea to “play” the stock ahead of earnings.

American Express (AXP)

Source: First Class Photography / Shutterstock.com

American Express (NYSE:AXP) is another blue chip that really surprised to the upside when it reported this earnings season. Unlike Apple, AXP stock was going into its quarterly reveal after a pretty sizeable run that started when shares bottomed in October 2023. The rally is still on, and the latest results are well ahead of expectations. And I think it could have legs until the next round of American Express earnings.

For the latest (first) quarter, the credit card giant showed great discipline in controlling costs. Additionally, net revenue surged 11% to $15.8 billion, a very impressive showing for the $172 billion behemoth.

Once again, younger consumers helped drive the results. As the company enhances its focus on bringing on younger people aboard American Express, I’d not be surprised if the firm had a few more upside surprises up its sleeves.

American Express CEO Steve Squeri is a great boss. He’s serious about attracting younger clients, which is key to sustaining its growth. Younger people are spending a lot of money, and many will be enticed to swipe their American Express cards for great perks and points.

Eli Lilly (LLY)

Source: shutterstock.com/Michael Vi

Like American Express, Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY) stock had quite a bit of multi-month momentum riding behind it ahead of earnings. Expectations were undoubtedly high, yet Eli Lilly still delivered an impressive showing.

For the first quarter, Lilly beat the bottom line while raising its full-year guidance for sales and adjusted earnings. The classic beat and raise helped LLY stock rise initially, though not by enough to break out of the $730-790 consolidation channel it had been stuck in since February 2024. Indeed, weight-loss drugs, Mounjaro and Zepbound, were the show’s stars, helping Lilly move the needle higher (forgive the pun) on sales.

With a hefty valuation (59.2 times forward price-to-earnings) and lots of weight-loss drug hype still baked in, it’s unclear what it’ll take to help LLY stock break out past $800 per share. Perhaps more promising results from its phase-three diabetes drug could help investors rally behind the name.

On the date of publication, Joey Frenette held shares of Apple and American Express. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

Joey Frenette is a seasoned investment writer specializing in technology and consumer stocks. Contributing to the Motley Fool Canada, TipRanks, and Barchart, Joey excels in spotting mispriced stocks with long-term growth potential in a fast-paced market.

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