Google Q1 report to kick off era under new CEO

Google Q1 report to kick off era under new CEO

San Francisco: Management changes, spending plans and regulatory risks will be in the spotlight when Google Inc reports its first-quarter financial results after the market closes on Thursday.

Larry Page, the 38-year-old co-founder of the world’s No. 1 Internet search company became chief executive earlier this month, after a decade in which Eric Schmidt held the job.

Page is expected to bolster innovation and cut bureaucracy as Google faces fierce competition from social networking leader Facebook and Apple Inc.

But some investors are anxious about how Page will adapt to the day-to-day tasks of managing a company of more than 24,000 employees, as well as whether he will drive up spending.

“The bottom line is going to be a little more in focus now, just because people want to see directionally how Larry is thinking," said Sameet Sinha, an analyst with B. Riley & Co.

Shares of Google, which has beat Wall Street’s profit targets for seven of the past eight consecutive quarters, are down more than 8% since the company announced in January that Page would become CEO.

Analysts estimate that Google increased net revenue by 25% year-over-year to $6.32 billion in the first quarter, with adjusted earnings per share of $8.10, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Google is ramping up efforts to supplement its core search advertising business with revenue from display and mobile ads. The company is increasingly focused on social networking and the local ad market, where Facebook and online coupon service Groupon rule the roost.

The increasing regulatory scrutiny of Google has also become a greater concern for investors.

Google’s deal to acquire online travel software company ITA Software for $700 million was approved by US regulators with stiff conditions on Friday, and US regulators are exploring whether to open a formal probe into Google’s Internet search ranking practices, a source told Reuters last week.