Stocks to Watch: Google, Rite Aid

NEW YORK -- Google ( GOOG), the Internet search giant, is expected to report first-quarter earnings after Thursday's closing bell, and analysts expect a profit of $9.65 a share on revenue of $8.14 billion.

Think Equity previewed Google's numbers last week and reiterated its buy rating on the stock and $714 price target. Think Equity is expecting above-consensus earnings of $9.91 a share on revenue of $8.15 billion.

Google shares closed Wednesday at $635.96.

Sony ( SNE), the consumer-electronics giant, confirmed Thursday that it was cutting 10,000 jobs, or about 6% of its global work force, and forecast that it will make its TV business, which has lost money for eight straight years, profitable again by fiscal 2014.

Sony said on Tuesday it projects an annual loss of 520 billion yen ($6.4 billion), much wider that earlier predictions of a loss of 220 billion yen, and its worst loss ever.

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The Securities and Exchange Commission could announce Thursday that Goldman Sachs ( GS) will pay $22 million to settle allegations the bank didn't have adequate policies to prevent research from being passed inappropriately to preferred clients, Reuters reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The SEC's case against Goldman is expected to be similar to one Goldman settled last year with Massachusetts securities regulators, several sources told Reuters.

The $22 million penalty will resolve charges by both the SEC and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

The SEC agreed to the terms of the settlement a few weeks ago, several of the people told Reuters.

Rite Aid ( RAD), the drugstore chain, is expected by analysts Thursday to post a fiscal fourth-quarter loss of 14 cents a share on revenue of $7.12 billion.

Analysts forecast fourth-quarter same-store sales to rise 3%.

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Other companies reporting quarterly results on Thursday include Fastenal ( FAST), JB Hunt Transport Services ( JBHT) and Talbots ( TLB).

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-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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