By WRAL Tech Wire

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – Earnings from both IBM and Intel scheduled to be released on Tuesday are being watched carefully by investors and industry insiders for clues about the direction of the technology industry.

IBM is coming off a recent all-time high of $210.69 per share in advance of the first quarter earnings release for 2012 scheduled at the end of today’s trading. While valuation is a bit stretched on a relative basis, underlying expectations call for Big Blue to deliver a solid quarter, thanks to cloud-computing, data center expansion, and services growth.

According to preliminary reports, IBM (NYSE:IBM) is expected to post earnings of $2.65 per share on revenue of $24.81 billion, compared to adjusted earnings of $2.41 a share on $24.6 billion in revenue last year.

IBM stock has doubled over the last three years, and revenue grew by 7 percent in 2011.

Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), on the other hand, is expected to post declines in profit and revenue, with earnings per share of 50 cents on $12.84 billion in revenue. That compares to 56 cents a share in earnings on revenue of $12.85 billion in the same quarter last year.

But, the chip maker is forecasting this year that its revenue will increase by as much as 9 percent, following 24 percent growth in 2011.

Positive reports last week of increased PC sales in the first three months of the year have some optimistic that Intel’s earnings on Tuesday will contain good news. IBM is being watched for signs of global tech spending trends and service revenue.

IBM will hold a conference call after results are released this afternoon. Also, IBM’s 2012 Annual Meeting of Stockholders will be held on Tuesday, April 24 at 10 a.m., in the Charleston Area Convention Center in South Carolina.

Cree (NASDAQ:CREE) also will post their third quarter earnings later today.

Over the past year, the stock has hit a 52-week low of $20.25 and 52-week high of $44.83. Cree stock has been showing support around $30.70 and resistance in the $32.98 range. Technical indicators for the stock are bullish.

Analysts foresee Cree announcing decreased profits on Tuesday. Despite this, they are generally optimistic about the stock.

While the company has been profitable for the last eight quarters, income has fallen year-over-year by an average of 68.5 percent over the past four quarters. The biggest drop came in the first quarter, when profit dipped by 77.9 percent.