Google, Yahoo, and eBay, three Internet industry bellwethers, are set to report first quarter earnings this week, setting the tone for the new media sector's performance for the first three months of the year. Marketwatch noted that analysts, for the most part, have suggested in their notes to clients that each of these giants will meet or beat Wall Street's first-quarter expectations. As usual, Yahoo kicks off earnings season tomorrow, expected to report sales growth above 30 percent with a year over year profit fall of 14 percent. eBay is expected to see a 34 percent rise in sales, and a 19 percent rise in year over year profit. Analysts peg Google's first quarter earnings at nearly 70 cents per share, or 53 percent, on 85 percent sales growth. One analyst said eBay is the most likely of the three to beat the Street's numbers, as its shares had been under pressure the last several quarters due to the company's significant investment in Voice over Internet Protocol provider Skype and eBay China. A positive earnings period for Google is contingent on the search provider spending less than it did in the fourth quarter on infrastructure and research and development.
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