Proof of insatiable greed on Wall Street
If I ran a company that posted Google's growth, did not really *LOSE* anything every year, generated the *REAL* revenue it does, I'd go home and sleep well every night. Screw the "analysts" - when a company meets nearly all of its projections, and exceeds a good number of them, I have no problem with it.
In fact, I'd rather see Wall Street pay more kudos to companies that consistently MEET their projections spot-on. Not "exceed" expectations, but hit them on-target every time. THAT, to me, is a well-run company that truly knows what it's doing and managing to it.
This story underlines why there are so many problems with "cheating" in publicly traded companies: no matter what you do, unless you "surprise" yourself - "OOOH, look, I make BIGGER potty!" - then the "analysts" don't care. So cheat: under-report items one quarter and "save them up for a rainy day", run "off-the-book" projects that can pump a bit of cash in at the appropriate place, etc.
It's like the vignette from Jules Feiffer's "Feiffer's People" about the Worlds Second Greatest Athlete. The guy that can EXACTLY match the world's greatest athletes - to the centimeter - is considered a nobody, no matter how much harder it is to do. A company that can meet its projections because of superior governance and measurement is considered a "poor performer".
Stepping down from soap box now...