Google Inc Earnings Preview: Growth Still Slowing

As of this writing, Class A shares of Google were down 0.3% to $519.61 per share ahead of the next earnings report

Google is scheduled to release its next earnings report on Thursday after closing bell, and analysts aren’t really expecting any big surprises. When adjusted for foreign exchange rates, Wedbush analysts are expecting in-line earnings results. They do say, however, that it will be difficult to predict how much foreign exchange rates will affect Google’s results because the search giant tends to hedge against them.

Estimates for Google’s earnings report

In a report dated Jan. 27, analysts Shyam Patil, James Dix and Andy Cheng said they expect Google to post $14.4 billion in net revenue, a 16% year over year increase. That’s compared to the Bloomberg consensus estimate of $14.77 billion. They’re looking for non-GAAP earnings of $6.96 per share, which is quite a bit behind the consensus estimate of $7.19 per share.

They expect to see 16.5% click growth and a 2.3% decline in cost per click. They estimate that without hedging, the headwind from the strengthening of the U.S. dollar could have a negative impact of about 5% year over year and 4% quarter over quarter for the December quarter.

The Wedbush team said their checks and commentary on the paid search industry suggest spending trends were in line for the December quarter. They expect Google to post 15% growth in gross advertising revenue.

For this year, they estimate that Google’s sales will grow by 15% to 20%. However, they say growth going forward will probably depend on growth in Product Listing Ads, which faces more difficult comparisons this year. Other important factors for future growth include the ongoing shift to mobile, growing competition and changes in Google’s platform, like adding the capability for consumers to purchase directly from the search giant.

Going into Thursday’s print, the analysts maintained their Neutral rating and $530 per share price target on Google.

Update on Google Fiber

Along with fourth quarter results, UBS analyst Eric Sheridan and his team are expecting an update on Google Fiber. The search giant is expected to announce the expansion of the service to four additional markets: Atlanta, GA; Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham NC; and Nashville, TN. The UBS team believes the announcement will come as the result of a review of bids from 34 different cities. It’s been suggested that Google may expand Fiber into other cities among those 34 soon as well.

The UBS team maintained its Buy rating on Google.

It’s also been reported that Google has designs on entering the wireless industry. However, those reports remain unsubstantiated, and it seems unlikely that anything concrete will be announced on this front along with Thursday’s earnings report.

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About the Author

Michelle Jones
Michelle Jones was a television news producer for eight years. She produced the morning news programs for the NBC affiliates in Evansville, Indiana and Huntsville, Alabama and spent a short time at the CBS affiliate in Huntsville. She has experience as a writer and public relations expert for a wide variety of businesses. Michelle has been with ValueWalk since 2012 and is now our editor-in-chief. Email her at [email protected]

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