Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) killed it last night. Earnings growth was an amazing 36% over last year. This morning, analysts are scrambling to get their new price targets for Google out.
UBS is forecasting that Google will hit $800 a share.
How did Google achieve such amazing growth?
Well, for starters, 550,000 phones with Google's Android operating system were activated a day during the quarter. That's how Android currently boasts a 37% market share, compared to Apple's 27%.
Plus, the Android store now has 250,000 apps and has 6 billion downloads to date, double from any previous months.
Google's Facebook challenger, Google+, has signed up 10 million users since it was launched a couple weeks ago.
The growth in smart phone use, like Android phones or Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL) has caused wireless network providers like AT&T (NYSE: T) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ) to abandon unlimited data plans. The amount of traffic that's running on their networks is mind-boggling, and it's expected to grow 3,000% in the next 5 years.
The wireless carriers have to make network upgrades to handle the continued surge in traffic. And with the current flat-rate plans, they are not making enough money to do it. So they are adopting tiered data plans to help pay for network upgrades in order to handle all the traffic.
The latest Special Investment Report from Wyatt Investment Research is focused tech stocks that directly benefit from Google's success.
One $6 stock that's about to unleash a revolutionary wireless antenna technology that will save Verizon and AT&T hundreds of millions of dollars in network upgrade costs. In fact, these antennas are so powerful that that they don't need new cell towers to be built.
I have a $10 target for this stock, but it could easily rise even more than 65%. You can get details HERE.
Citigroup (NYSE: C) also joined the positive earnings parade. Citi made $1.09 a share in the quarter. Once again, the most important news for Citi was that delinquent loans and outright losses from bad loans fell in the quarter.
Citi was able to return $2 billion in loan loss reserves to the positive side of the ledge. That made up a good percentage of the $3.3 billion profit it made.
Perhaps the best news out of Citi was on lending growth. Consumer loans increased 11 percent to $244 billion. Corporate loans grew 22 percent to $197 billion compared to last year.
Ah, but there's always a caveat, isn't there? Much of the growth in lending came from emerging markets. At least Citi is participating…
I wasn't bullish in the weaker banks, Citi and Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) coming into earnings. But we almost have to believe that Bank of America had a good quarter, too.
In the big picture, a sustainable rally for the financials would be good for the market.
Expectations for earnings have been ratcheted down in recent weeks. And so far, we've seen nothing but positive surprises. And let's remember — these surprises are coming from a quarter defined by a "soft patch" in economic growth.