Will Larry Page's Second Earnings Report Be Better Than His First?

larry page

Photo: Google

Google reports second quarter earnings this afternoon after close, and Wall Street is expecting sales growth of just under 30% but continued expense growth, particularly from the launch of Google+, the company’s Facebook competitor.The other big question: will CEO Larry Page get on the call, and for how long? Last quarter — his first after retaking the CEO reins from Eric Schmidt — he talked for a couple minutes at the beginning, but that was it.

Be sure to check back at 4 pm ET — we’ll be posting the numbers as soon as they cross and live blogging the earnings call.

Here’s the consensus:

  • Gross revenue: Consensus is $8.59 billion — up 26% from last year.
  • Net revenue (minus traffic acquisition costs): Consensus $6.55 billion — up 29% from last year. The range is between $6.02 billion and $6.75 billion.
  • EPS: Consensus is $7.86 — up 22% from last year. Estimates range from $6.98 to $8.34.

Google’s spending growth outpaced its revenue last quarter, and analysts apparently expect that trend to continue. The company is on a hiring binge this year — it expects to hire 6,000 more employees — and the launch of new initiatives like Google+.

Colin Gillis, an analyst with BGC Partners, told Bloomberg yesterday that he thinks the Google+ launch will cost more than $200 million total, with $100 million of those expenses falling in Q2.

Here are more detailed expectations from JP Morgan’s Doug Anmuth, who’s a little more bullish than the average.

  2Q11E     ($ in million) JPME Consensus Diff (%) Gross Revenue 8,703 8,592 1.3% Google Web Sites* 5,925 5,830 1.6% Google Network Sites* 2,455 2,470 -0.6% Other* 323 292 10.4% TAC* 2,081 2,070 0.5% % of Total gross Advertising Revs 23.9% 24.1%           Net Revenue 6,622 6,565 0.9% Google Web Sites 5,587 NA   Google Network Sites 712 NA   Other 323 NA   EBITDA 3,670 3,563 3.0% EBITDA Margin 55.4% 54.3%           PF EPS $7.95 $7.85 1.3% GAAP EPS $6.87 $6.83 0.6%         Y/Y Growth       Gross Revenue 27.6% 26.0%   Net Revenue 30.1% 29.0%   EBITDA 21.7% 18.1%           Sequential Growth       Gross Revenue 1.5% 0.2%   Net Revenue 1.3% 0.4%   EBITDA 1.1% -1.8%  

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