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Google earnings: Three big things investors should watch

Google is set to release quarterly earnings after the bell Thursday, and global currency fluctuations remain a big factor for the tech giant, according to Scott Kessler, equity analyst at S&P Capital IQ.

"Google derives more than half of its revenues from overseas, so that definitely is something to watch," Kessler said on CNBC's "The Tech Bet."

A stronger U.S. dollar is a headwind and will be a major issue for Google's top-line growth, Kessler said. Investors should also expect to see Google grow more amenable toward a buyback or dividend, but don't expect them to announce either along with earnings, he said.

"We expect that the company perhaps is going to take, let's say, a more favorable tone when it comes to that topic, at least as perceived by the investing public," Kessler said. "I think the company is going to move in that direction.... They have the resources to make those types of things happen."

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Google's stock hasn't shared the same upward swings as those of its tech rivals, such as Amazon or Facebook, but Kessler said it's still a good bet when compared to companies like Microsoft.

"As much as there have been questions and concerns about the company and the stock, Google shares have actually performed quite well notwithstanding the fact that people look at peers like Amazon, Apple and Facebook and see those stocks performing even better," Kessler said. "But look to the market or broadly to a name like Microsoft, and you've been better off in Google."

What to expect from Google's earnings

Another detail to watch? Google's new chief financial officer Ruth Porat, who joined the tech giant from Morgan Stanley earlier this year. Kessler said he hopes Porat exhibits transparency when she discusses Google's major businesses, most notably YouTube.

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S&P Capital IQ has a "strong buy" rating on class A shares of Google with a $650 12-month price target.

Disclosure: Kessler does not own shares of Google.