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A slew of company demergers and business shakeups have made this quarter the "put up or shut up" moment for many of the tech sector's biggest stocks to watch.
You see, tech companies often outperform other sectors because they're constantly forced to innovate. The ones that do so successfully reflect these wins in revenue.
When tech companies don't modernize and hold too tight to old business practices, their more adaptable rivals leave them in the dust.
And that's where this third-quarter tech earnings story begins.
Money Morning Defense and Tech Specialist Michael Robinson expects the sector to beat the broader market with between 5% and 7% earnings growth.
We took a look at four of the most important tech stocks to watch this earnings season. Here's a write up of what to watch and why it matters…
4 Tech Stocks to Watch This Earnings Season
Tech Stocks to Watch No. 1: eBay Inc. (Nasdaq: EBAY) / Earnings Date: Oct. 15
EBAY last month announced it would spin out its payments business, PayPal, into a separate public company.
The announcement came following a spat between EBAY Chief Executive Officer John Donahoe and activist investor Carl Icahn, who took up a stake and called for this action. Icahn joined the board and the face-off turned cordial before the spin-off.
Losing PayPal is big.
Online payments brought in almost $2 billion to EBAY's $4.4 billion in the second quarter. PayPal's 20% revenue growth compared to the EBAY marketplace's 9%.
And Tesla Motors Inc. (Nasdaq: TSLA) CEO and PayPal founder Elon Musk said he values PayPal at $100 billion. Compare that to EBAY's current market cap of $69 billion.
Investors will want to keep an eye on the revenue breakdown for EBAY to see how much the firm is going to miss when it parts company with PayPal.
"We want to see what's happening with the PayPal division, if they report that out versus the overall company," Robinson said, adding that he wants "to see what's happening with their Marketplace with the eBay aspect of things."
Money Morning members can see the next three big storylines for the technology earnings season below.