Google earnings could spark tech rally or wash away recent gains

Technology investors will be focused today on the main event of this tech earnings season: Google earnings.

If impressive, they could spark a tech rally. If unimpressive, recent tech gains will be quickly washed away. "They will exceed expectations," said Ryan Jacob, fund manager of the Jacob Internet fund.

"Probably only slightly on the revenue side, and a little more on the earnings side," Jacob said in an interview Wednesday at DailyFinance's New York office.

Google is expected to report a first-quarter profit excluding special items of $4.93 a share and $4.1 billion in revenue for the quarter ended March 31, according to analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters.

"Analyst expectations have been kind of walked back a bit (recently)," Jacobs said, "That's why I'm confident they'll succeed on the earnings side."

Google shares have rallied 17 percent in the past month, leading up to the earnings report, better than the Nasdaq Composite Index, which has seen a 14 percent gain.

Since November, Google's shares have rallied more than 40 percent, which could mean that good news from company management could be viewed as not-so-good by investors. It may take exceptional news to keep the stock moving higher.

Investors will be looking and listening for clues, in the earnings press release and the company conference call after the markets close today, to help predict where sales are headed for the search giant.

Jacobs said investors may not get the clues they're looking for. "They never give guidance," he said.

Dan Niles, of Alpha One Capital Partners, told CNBC Wednesday that he "wouldn't be surprised" if investors got more "conservative" after Google's conference call.

For the quarter itself, Niles said, "Google will have pretty strong results."

Anthony Massucci is a senior reporter at DailyFinance. He previously covered technology stocks at Bloomberg News.

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