If Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) stock rallies after the company reports earnings on Thursday, it'll be because costs per click are rising again. But there's another element to the story that's equally important, if not more so: Apps usage.
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is still the king of the market for productivity software, but Google is catching on, with more than 40 million reported users of its Google Apps suite. New efforts to bolster the offering with Keep, an Evernote lookalike, could help win customers over time. Rumored efforts to boost messaging could also prove popular, especially with Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) taking steps to boost its own capabilities in this area via the "Home" app for Android.
For its part, Wall Street is expecting Q1 revenue to soar 72.5% to $14.04 billion, resulting in $10.69 of profit per share. The company beat earnings estimates in three of its past four quarters, with a 15.2% miss in the September quarter counting as its only aberration, according to data supplied by Yahoo! Finance. Google stock is up roughly 25% over that period.
Will Google stock rally following the report? Tim Beyers of Motley Fool Rule Breakers and Motley Fool Supernova weighs in on this question in the video below. Please watch and then leave a comment to let us know whether you would buy, sell, or short Google stock at current prices.