Friday, July 18, 2008

Google's Quarterly Earnings Problem

I've given this a lot of thought and I think I have the solution for Google's quarterly earnings problem.


Google offers no guidance with its earnings releases. I don't know why. Maybe they have a really smart reason, such as: Giving guidance is stupid. Or something like that. Maybe Google wants to be a company of mystery.

Personally, I admire Google's stand. I never give guidance about myself to anybody. Still, it's a problem for Google because analysts don't like it when you expect them to guess your earnings, without getting any hints. This produces unintended consequences. Like today.

Anyway, I said I had a solution to the problem, and I do. I have made an analysis of Google's earnings for the past four quarters in relation to analysts' estimates and the surprising differences between them. And I have found that Google has a negative surprise every other quarter, and it is these negative surprises that cause all the trouble.

With this in mind, I propose, for consideration at the next shareholder meeting, that Google, henceforth, release its earnings twice a year, instead of four times. In this way, Google's earnings would be rendered entirely free of negative surprises.

This is no silly statistician's trick. Every company has its own particular rhythm and Google's is decidedly semiannual.

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