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3 Stocks to Watch on Friday: Amazo, Baidu Inc (ADR) and Western Digital Corp

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This article is published in collaboration with Scutify, where you can find real-time markets and stock commentary from Robert Marcin, Cody Willard and others. Download the Scutify iOS App, the Scutify Android App or visit Scutify.com.

Thursday's regular trading day was fairly slow, with the S&P 500 Index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average gaining marginally, and the Nasdaq Composite 0.4% better by day's end. But all the fireworks came Thursday night, when a slew of tech operators reported quarterly earnings.

3 Stocks to Watch on Friday: Amazon.com, Inc., Baidu, Inc., and Western DigitalAs we head into Friday's trade, Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), Baidu Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ:BIDU) and Western Digital Corporation (NASDAQ:WDC) are all making big moves following their most recent reports.

Here's what you need to know.

Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN)

Amazon posted yet another great quarter Thursday night, and as a result, AMZN stock continues to race higher.

The e-tailer posted earnings of $1.48 per share, which was well ahead of the $1.12 per share that the consensus estimate called for. Revenue for the period was $35.7 billion, 23% higher year-over-year and a touch higher than the $35.3 billion that analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected.

All eyes were on cloud offering Amazon Web Service, which didn't disappoint, but did show continued signs of slowing. AWS revenues were up 43% year-over-year to $3.7 billion, but that was after a 64% increase in the year-ago period. Still, the division generated big operating income of $890 million, so a net profit margin of more than 24% - better than Q1 2016's margin.

Jeff Bezos spoke specifically to the company's opportunity in India, saying, "Our India team is moving fast and delivering for customers and sellers. The team has increased Prime selection by 75% since launching the program nine months ago, increased fulfillment capacity for sellers by 26% already this year, announced 18 Indian Original TV series, and just last week introduced a Fire TV Stick optimized for Indian customers with integrated voice search in English and Hindi."

AMZN stock is set to open Friday's trade up another 3%, extending its 22%-plus year-to-date gains.

Baidu Inc (ADR) (BIDU)

BIDU shares are slowly declining despite a pretty good showing for its first quarter.

Baidu posted earnings of 66 cents per share, 3 cents ahead of the consensus estimate. Meanwhile, revenues of $2.4 billion were up 6.8% year-over-year, and also better than expectations for $2.4 billion. Roughly 70% of those sales came from mobile.

A few additional details from Jefferies analyst Karen Chan:

"Active online marketing customers was down 23.2% YoY to 451,000 with revenue per online marketing customer up 26.8% YoY to RMB32,200. Mobile revenue contribution reached 70% of total revenue, up from 65% in 4Q16 and 60% in 1Q16. Operating profit was RMB2.0bn, -8.2% QoQ, -9.3% YoY, 86.7% above our estimate and 42.6% above consensus respectively, mainly helped by cost control in sales and marketing dollars which was down 29% YoY."

Looking ahead, Baidu is forecasting roughly $3 billion in sales for Q2 2017.

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BIDU stock, which had gained 14% year-to-date ahead of the report, including a steep climb in anticipation, was selling the news to the tune of about 2% in Friday morning's trade.

Western Digital Corporation (WDC)

WDC shares are putting in a big morning following a beat-and-raise first quarter.

Western Digital's revenues for Q1 jumped 64% to $4.6 billion - thanks in large part to its folding-in of SanDisk, which the company finished buying a year ago - just clearing estimates of $4.58 billion.

Meanwhile, earnings of $2.39 per share were also a big climb higher from the year-ago period, up 77%, and far above expectations for $2.14 per share.

Looking forward, the company is expecting $4.8 billion in Q2 revenues, which is better than the $4.6 billion analysts predicted. Earnings forecasts topped expectations by a mile, with a range of $2.55 to $2.65 versus a consensus mark of $2.14.

Among other highlights: The company finished the first quarter with total cash of $4.1 billion, and generated $440 million in cash during the quarter.

"Demand for both hard drive and flash-based products was strong across all customer categories, driven by cloud and mobile applications, as well as better-than-expected PC market trends," CEO Steve Milligan said. "We are encouraged by the uniformly positive response to the new Western Digital platform from our broadened customer base.


This article was written by Karl Utermohlen for InvestorPlace on Apr 28, 2017.

This article published in collaboration with Scutify, the best app for traders and investors. Download the Scutify iOS App, the Scutify Android App or visit Scutify.com.

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