Official vs. Real Expectations
This is not a phenonema limited to Google. Just about every earnings season (i.e. every quarter) many, usually most, companies beat official expectations, with almost all remaining companied meeting official expectations, and only a handful missing official expectations. One would have thought that this systematic downward bias in official expectations would have induced Wall Street to re-evaluate their methods-unless, of course, it is deliberate so that every earnings season will be associated with "good news" no matter how bad the earnings are in a absolute sense, so that people will be more willing to buy stocks, using the brokerage services of the bank and brokerage firms that hire the analysts whose low forecast ensure that earnings will be "better than analyst's expectations".