After the bell today, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is slated to report first-quarter earnings … but I’m sure you already knew that. The late Steve Jobs’ company — the tech giant of all tech giants — has a slight tendency to steal the show, to say the least.
In the past two quarters, though, that hasn’t been such a good thing; Apple fell short of expectations both times. That’s especially notable considering the company only posted a miss one other time in its past 16 reports.
Investors have noticed. Since its most recent report in October, Apple’s value has dwindled by more than 18%. And while everyone still has their eyes fixed on the iPhone-maker today, several other tech stocks have handily put such a performance to shame.
With that in mind, let’s take at the five tech companies with at least a $2 billion market cap that have led the way over the past 13 weeks. Some of the names just might surprise you.
13-week gains: 32%
Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) is no stranger to attention itself — and lately, that’s actually been a good thing. While Mark Zuckerberg’s project was the talk of the town following its botched IPO, the stock has climbed to the tune of 32% gains over the past 13 weeks.
Just before Apple reported its miss in October, Facebook jumped over a relatively low earnings bar and its stock got a double-digit pop as a result. Since then, the social media site also made headlines by revealing its new Social Graph search feature and trying to take on SnapChat with its Poke app.
The stock’s total losses since the IPO are still nearly 19%, but its price right now is nearly double late-summer lows.
Keep an eye out; Facebook reports earnings after the bell next week on Jan. 30.
Semiconductor Manufacturing International
13-week gains: 56%
The next big winner of the past few weeks is less than 1% of Apple’s size and sure doesn’t have the same household recognition as some other big-name tech companies. None of those things seem to be stopping it, though.
Semiconductor Manufacturing International (NYSE:SMI), a Chinese holding company, is a leading global semiconductor foundry based in Shanghai. Its market cap is a mere $2 billion compared to Apple’s nearly $500 billion, while its average trading volume doesn’t even come close to 1 million.
Still, over the past three months, SMI has climbed more than 50%. It has more than climbed out of its 2012 hole for solid 25% gains over the past 12 months.
Size sure isn’t everything.
13-week gains: 59%
Another relatively small tech stock that’s been doing big things? Global telecom company Alcatel Lucent (NYSE:ALU), which is involved in mobile, set, IP and optics technology.
The stock has impressive 59% gains in the books since late October — almost double that of Facebook’s climb and around 10 times the gains of the broader market.
Of course, much of that climb has simply been a matter of regaining ground lost in 2012; the stock’s value shrunk around 60% in the month of April alone. Its current price of $1.75 is still 70% off from its high above $6 just over a year ago.
13-week gains: 80%
Nokia reports fourth-quarter earnings Thursday, but preliminary numbers for the period have been promising. The company sold 86.3 million total devices including 4.4 million of the new Lumia — more than a 50% increase for the quarter.
Nokia’s stock climbed along with the phone sales for an eye-popping total of 80% gains. That gives it a $4.70 price-tag compared to $2.56 at the start of this period and a 52-week low of $1.63 … but also could give it plenty of room to fall if true Q4 numbers aren’t as good as investors are expecting.
Research In Motion
13-week gains: 138%
InvestorPlace editor Jeff Reeves might be convinced that Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) is a dead stock walking, but the numbers tell a different story lately. Investors seem excited by the company’s upcoming BlackBerry 10 release and have bid the stock up 138% in the past 13 weeks alone to prove it.
Whew. And that total climb is despite a slight bump in the uptrend back in December, when the stock took a hit as its earnings report revealed a loss of 1 million more subscribers. The stock is currently trading around 52-week high levels.
RIMM is set to release the BB10 on Jan. 30 and reports earnings March 24.
Until then … well … I guess you can turn your attention back to Apple.
As of this writing, Alyssa Oursler did not own a position in any of the aforementioned securities.