Google Q2 Earnings: You Make the Call

By Steve Bryant  |  Posted 2006-07-17 Print this article Print

Google through the roof? Heads up, true believers: Google's Q2 earnings call takes place this Thursday at 1:30 p.m. PST. Will Google fail, meet or beat Wall Street's expectations, and why?

This is the first quarter in which Google's stock price has not hit a new high. Google's high point was January 11, when stock was trading at $471.63. It's highest point during the last quarter was April 24, when the stock was trading at $440.50 after news that Google's Q1 net rose 60 percent and beat analyst estimates.

Google's stock wallowed in the 300s for most of February and March after their 2005 Q4 earnings report didn't meet Wall Street expectations. But in April, Google posted a 79 percent revenue gain. Meanwhile, the company's search lead has widened and widened again.

Google has been active with partnerships and distributor deals. In its latest move to outflank competitors like Microsoft, Google will bundle Google Toolbar with downloads of Adobe's Shockwave.

Google has made several adjustments to AdWords this quarter. Beginning in April, they began to change how ads appeared alongside search queries. JP Morgan's Imran Khan thinks the changes will lead to higher click-through rates and cost-per-click.

Merrill Lynch also raised its Q2 revenue and earnings per share estimates for Google based on "improvements to monetization from advertiser use of 'broad match' and an increase in the number [of] paid search results per commerce query."

According to Forbes, Piper Jaffray's Safa Rashtchy increased the second-quarter revenue estimate for Google to $1.672 billion from $1.589 billion, implying an 8 percent sequential increase in advertising revenue growth. Rashtchy also maintained a $600 price target for GOOG. Yowza.

As far as new projects go, this quarter saw the debut of Google Spreadsheets and Google Checkout. There have been rumors of Google Health, and speculation about Google GDrive.

There have been some low points this quarter, but not many. Google has suffered through some blogger flak about its click fraud strategy. The company settled a $90 million click fraud suit earlier this year, and it's almost in the clear with accusations from Kinderstart about monopolistic practices.

That's about it. If you think there are other extenuating factors that will affect GOOG, let us know. And if you think you can beat the street's estimations, leave your best guess in the comments. |

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