Which Tech Titan Stocks had the Strongest Earnings this Week? Apple, Google, Microsoft, IBM or Netflix?

Earnings trends are extremely important when evaluating stocks. At Wall St. Cheat Sheet, we view increasing earnings quarter-over-quarter as a simple way to gauge whether costs and the business model are stable. Then we like to analyze whether the company is outperforming peers in the sector. This is what we call the “E-Squared” investment analysis (‘E = Earnings Are Increasing Quarter-Over-Quarter’ + ‘E = Excellent Relative Performance Versus Peers and Sector’).

Stocks with improving earnings metrics are worthy of your extra attention. Click here to discover our CHEAT SHEET stock picks now!

Here’s your Cheat Sheet to how the top 5 tech titan stocks rank via earnings trends from this week:

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL): Current Price $439.88

Fiscal Year 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Revenue ($) in millions 37,490 42,900 65,220 108,250 156,510
Diluted EPS ($) 6.78 9.08 15.15 27.68 44.15

These annual results from Apple are the stuff of corporate folklore. In five years, revenue quadrupled and EPS jumped 6.5 times. The company’s shareholders were surely happy.

Next, our CHEAT SHEET investing framework asks us to drill down to the recent quarterly data:

Quarter Dec. 31, 2011 Mar. 31, 2012 Jun. 30, 2012 Sep. 30, 2012 Dec. 31, 2012
Revenue ($) in millions 46,330 39,190 35,020 35,970 54,510
Diluted EPS ($) 13.87 12.30 9.32 8.66 13.81

Interestingly, Apple’s quarterly results from December 2011 through September 2012 were on the decline — but that’s mostly due to industry cyclicality. Revenue fell 22% and EPS cratered over 60% during this period. It’s another matter that revenue and EPS headed for the moon in the last quarter of 2012, but it’s a lower number year-over-year.