NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Going into this week I wasn't exactly sure of what to expect this second full week of earnings season.
However, one thing that all investors should always expect is the unexpected, because surprises come in both positive and negative directions.
In this article we are going to look at four companies that will be reporting on Thursday and see if we can anticipate correctly which side of the surprise to play.
Reason To Buy GoogleFirst, I will admit that I have always had a personal love affair with Google. So my buy recommendation here should come as no surprise. In fact, recently I've asked if it can "MySpace" Facebook (FB). This was after the social network giant has showed some recent declines in active monthly users. On the other hand, Google's own social network Google+ continues to gain traction - acquiring more users than Facebook did in its first year, topping 250 million. What's more, Google just recently announced its plans to enter the tablet war by unveiling its highly anticipated Nexus 7 devices, presumably to compete against not only Apple (AAPL), but also Android partner Amazon (AMZN), whose Kindle Fire tablet will be priced along with Google at $199. Google is due to report earnings on Thursday after market close and investors have some reasons to be excited as well as areas where anxiety might set in so it's best to take the "expect the unexpected" approach. In its first-quarter report, the company reported better-than-expected profits of $10.08 per share vs. analyst estimates of $9.64. Excluding revenue passed on to partner sites, sales rose to $8.14 billion, matching estimates. The company's gross revenue grew by 24% to $10.6 billion on an annual basis and 1% sequentially. What also caught my attention was the better-than-expected performance of its network, something that I don't think for which Google gets enough credit.
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