Google earnings for the second quarter come out after the bell today - with most analysts expecting a strong quarter.
Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG) is expected to report Q2 earnings of $10.78 per share on revenue of $14.45 billion. That compares with a $10.12 EPS profit on revenue of $9.61 billion in the same quarter a year ago, according to analysts polled by Reuters.
In fact, Money Morning tech specialist Michael A. Robinson told Money Morning members on July 9 how Google stock is poised to gain roughly 50% by the end of 2015, after a stellar two-year run of 70% gains.
Monday, GOOG hit a high of $928. Shares are up 30% year-to-date, compared to the Standard & Poor's 500 Index gain of about 18%. Giddy investors are hoping Q2 numbers will be great enough to propel the stock over the $1,000 per share threshold.
However, even if investors don't get $1,000 a share, they just might get a stock split. Earlier this year, the Mountain View, CA-based company reached a legal settlement allowing it to split its stock for the first time ever.
A Surprise in Google Earnings?
While the Wall Street consensus is for Google to show a 4% decline in cost-per-clicks, in line with historical charts that show seven consecutive quarters of decreasing click prices, that figure is likely to come in higher-much higher.
Looking for Google to post better-than-expected numbers in this crucial segment are two "in-the-know" firms: The Search Agency, the largest independent paid search company in the U.S., and Adobe's digital marketing division, reports Venture Beat.
For the first time in two years, costs per click at Google are going up, not down, data from the two sources reveal.
Figures from The Search Agency show an 8.3% year-over-year increase and whopping 21.2 jump quarter-over-quarter. Adobe's numbers are a bit more modest with a 6% increase in the last quarter and a projected 5%-10% increase for the current quarter.
But the trend is the same - up.
Three Things to Look for in Google Earnings
With all the positivity surrounding Google, it's easy to overlook the details. Following are three things that will impact Google's present and future bottom-line.
Dumping Apple Stock for Google: How Investors Could Get Burned
The trend has some wondering if investors are consciously moving their money from one tech giant to the other.
"There's a lot of money that likes the tech sector, and I think Google has kind of taken over from Apple," Eric Kuby, chief investment officer at North Star Investment Management, told Reuters.
Looking at the charts, it's clear that Google stock is now enjoying the kind of momentum that Apple had for years, while sentiment toward AAPL almost couldn't get any more bearish.
Since Apple stock hit its all-time high of $705.07 in September, it has plunged 40% and lost more than $260 billion in market capitalization. AAPL is down more than 20% year to date.
Google hit several new highs recently, and poked briefly above $840 in early trading Wednesday. Google stock is up 48% from its mid-June low last year, and up 17.5% so far this year.
And at least two analysts recently put a $1,000 price target on GOOG, reminiscent of last year when analysts were rushing to put a $1,000 price target on Apple.
"The bulls are in Google's camp, and the bears are in Apple's camp at the moment," Neil Mawston, the executive director of Strategy Analytics, told CNBC.com, which speculated that Google could be replacing Apple as the dominant tech giant, as Apple supplanted Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) in the past decade.
But any Apple investors who haven't already dumped shares in favor of jumping on the Google stock bandwagon might want to think twice before doing so now.
Apple iWatch, Google Glass First Shots in New Clash of Tech Giants
Coming less than a year after Google unveiled its Google Glass Web-connected eyeglasses, reports that an Apple "iWatch" is in the works emphatically confirm that the battle is now joined for dominance over the next wave of tech - wearable computing.
According to the reports, Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) has 100 people working on an iWatch users would wear on their wrists, but that would have many of the same capabilities as an iPhone.
But wearable computers could enable new uses, particularly in the area of healthcare, while perhaps providing the spark to encourage some promising technologies that have yet to catch on, like contactless payments.
Four of the biggest names in tech - Apple, Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG), Sony Corp. (NYSE ADR: SNE) and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) - either are selling, have announced, or are known to be working on wearable computing ideas.
The Tech Play That's Better Than the "Next Google"
I probably spend more time than anyone searching for hot young startups that will make money for my readers - even as the companies themselves change the world around us.
I'm talking about firms like Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG), which in nine years has grown from a newly public company into a Web search, digital advertising, and online video juggernaut with a market value of $230 billion (and a stock price of $705 a share).
But I'm going to let you in on a secret that I've learned from my three decades in Silicon Valley.
You don't always have to find the "next Google" to make big money.
In the near term you can reap windfall profits by searching for the beaten-down tech stocks that the institutional players seem only too happy to ignore.
Those laggards are often hidden gems ... can come roaring back ... and turn the market on its ear when they do.
Can Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG) Nexus Dethrone the Apple iPad?
When Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG) launched its new line of Nexus tablets a couple weeks ago, it was a shot across the bow of Apple Inc.'s (Nasdaq: AAPL) dominant iPad.
Even though Hurricane Sandy forced Google to cancelan event planned to show off the new gadgets, it went ahead and launched its new products anyway.
The timing was no coincidence.
Google's latest salvo came less than a week after Apple introduced a smaller, less expensive iPad Mini with a 7.9-inch display to compete against the Nexus 7 tablet.
It's no wonder these guys are at war. Tablet sales are expected to hit $29.1 billion this year, according to the Consumer Electronics Association.
That number is $10 billion higher than projected in January, escalating the battle to a whole new level.
Clearly both companies are feeling the heat.
And even though Apple is the clear leader in market share, Google has rolled out cheaper devices that are attracting many users-especially price-conscious ones.
The question is: Do Google's Android-powered devices have enough firepower to crack Apple's grip on the tablet market?
It's still too early to tell, but there's good reason to believe the Internet search giant may just pull it off.
Here's a look at what the new tablets have under the hood.
Facebook Takes a Step Closer to Its Own Search Engine
And Facebook's reach grows bigger...
Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) announced this week it is revamping its Bing search engine to include content from Facebook and other social media platforms.
The move introduces a new sidebar to Bing, which aims to connect users with friends and other aficionados who can provide help, assistance and advice related to the performed search.
The Redmond, WA-based Microsoft said the foray is based on the fact that "90% of people consult with a friend or expert before making a decision."
The venture will hopefully give Bing some bang. Data reveals that Bing has about 15% of the U.S. search market, while Internet search behemoth Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) commands a 66% portion. Microsoft is hoping many will likethe new element and it will entice people to favor Bing when Web searching.
The new service will appear to the right of all search results, and will highlight a feature dubbed Friends Who Might Know.
Microsoft wrote on its blog, "Bing suggests friends on Facebook who might know about the topic-based on what they "like," their Facebook profile information, or photos they have shared so you can easily ask them about relevant experiences and opinions. For example, if you're searching for diving spots in Costa Rica...you may discover that one of your friends knows a great spot, based on photos from their last trip."
Bing will also flag other topic "specialists," identified from their posts on Google's social network Google+, Twitter, Foursquare, LinkedIn and Quora.
The feature will roll out shortly in the United States, according to Microsoft. The company did not comment about other locations.
To continue reading, please click here...
Is Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) Plotting a Yahoo (Nasdaq: YHOO) Takeover?
Yahoo! Inc.'s (Nasdaq: YHOO) never-ending troubles may renew Google Inc.'s (Nasdaq: GOOG) appetite for the once-mighty Internet giant.
After all, it wouldn't be the first time Google considered the deal.
In October, Google talked to at least two private-equity firms about helping them finance a deal to buy Yahoo Inc.'s core business, a person familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal.
But the latest bout of attrition at the senior management level and a flurry of strategic blunders may rekindle Google's desire to acquirethe struggling firm.
Why Buy Yahoo?Even so, many investors are questioning why anyone would want to buy Yahoo.
To continue reading, please click here...
Post-PC Era Poses Challenge to Techs: Adapt or Face the Consequences
The accelerating transition to mobile computing devices - such as smartphones and tablets - will drive tech companies to adapt to shifting consumer preferences or risk getting left behind.
Although they haven't yet tossed out their desktop or laptop PCs, more and more people are adopting mobile devices for such activities as checking e-mail, browsing the Web, playing games and interacting with social networks like Facebook and Twitter.
Indeed, the recent success of Apple Inc.'s (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPad, for instance, is just the one example of an ongoing paradigm shift that has come to be known as the "Post-PC Era."
Music Streaming First Salvo in Battle to Dominate Cloud-Based Computing
Cloud-based computing is shaping up to be a major battleground in the U.S. high-tech sector for the rest of this year, as companies compete to deliver such services as music streaming to consumer-based mobile devices.
And it figures to be a true clash of titans, with such high-tech heavyweights as Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN), Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL), Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG) and Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) serving among the major combatants.
And music is just the beginning.
Hot Stocks: Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG) Spreads Beyond Search With Groupon Bid
Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG) is gunning for even greater Web dominance in 2011 by announcing an aggressive move in the online advertising industry, as well as a game-changing entrance into the rapidly growing e-book market.
Google is close to sealing a deal to buy online coupon company Groupon for $5.3 billion, according to people familiar with the matter. This would be Google's biggest purchase to date. The two-year-old Groupon's popularity has skyrocketed since its November 2008 start, making it a target for Internet companies wanting a stronger hold on local advertising.
"This would basically get Google the feet on the street for what they would never build themselves," Jason Helfstein, an Oppenheimer & Company (NYSE: OPY) analyst, told The New York Times.