NEW YORK (
TheStreet) --When pressed to answer the question, "What do you think is the best and the worst of the big tech companies?", my response is immediate and clear.
On so many different levels Google (GOOG) is the hands-down top dog of great technology enterprises. After the market closes on Thursday, the company with a share price over $1,100 will report its fourth-quarrter earnings and other key financial statistics. Those numbers should be impressive.
According to Yahoo! Finance, the analysts who follow Google are anticipating a healthy increase in both earnings per share and quarterly revenue. Depending on whether you use GAAP numbers or non-GAAP, the analysts' average estimate for EPS growth for the quarter is between 15% and 38%.
Sales growth and revenue for the last quarter of 2013 are also estimated to have increased by 38% from the year-ago quarter. No wonder on Jan. 13, Oppenheimer raised the one-year target price for GOOG shares from $1,067 to $1,220. This was on the same day Google announced an agreement to acquire privatelyheld Nest Labs for $3.2 billion in cash.
Earlier this month JPMorgan increased its price target to $1,305. With all the ways GOOG has to rake in enormous profits, it's a wonder the target price isn't higher. Google's mission is no less than "...to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful." When you carefully study the company's Web page, which lists its products (it's a long page scroll to the bottom), you'd have to conclude it is well on its way to fulfilling that mission.
Another way to demonstrate why Google is the best big tech company today is through the use of a five-year chart.
GOOG data by YCharts
With a 34% diluted quarterly year-over-year EPS growth rate and Google's staggering trailing 12-month (TTM) income from continuing operations, is it any surprise the stock has nearly quadrupled in the past five years? Unlike Apple (AAPL) with its relatively limited array of products and services, GOOG has mined deeply into everything from social networking to searching the Web to its powerful presence in the mobile and video spaces.
Have I mentioned Google's under-appreciated ownership of YouTube? With over a billion unique visitors per month and growth of over 50% in 2013, Google's video bonanza is earning fortunes for the company and shaking up the media world. It's like having a secret recipe for mega-success that will keep churning out truck-loads of earnings for this best-in breed, multifaceted business success story.
Perhaps the best I can say about the stock of Cisco Systems (CSCO - Get Report) is it's cheap. There are numerous reasons why. Although it doesn't report earnings for its last quarter until Feb. 12, the "sharks" are already beginning to smell blood and are circling.
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