After a stretch in which investors dumped many of Silicon Valley's high-flying Web stocks like hot potatoes, it's time for the former Wall Street darlings to show their stuff.

Earnings season begins this week for many Internet stocks, with Google releasing its results Wednesday. They're joined by several of the valley's legacy companies, which did relatively well as investors moved to less volatile safe harbors where they could ride out the waves.

"You're seeing some of the appetite for risk go down and the appetite for value and stability go up," said Brian Bracelin, an analyst with Pacific Crest Securities.

"It's a little bit of a rebalancing, where the new tech companies need to grow into their valuations and the older companies could see an improvement in their growth rates," he said.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq has seen its gains since February wiped out, but it finished Monday up at 4,022.69 after dipping to 3,999.73 on Friday.

Facebook, Netflix, Twitter, Yahoo and Google were all up for the day, while Pandora continued to slide, closing at $25.27, a drop of almost 27 percent in four weeks.

Positive earnings may help some of the hard-hit social media companies turn the tide.

Yahoo, which fared better than others during last week's sell-off, reports its quarterly earnings Tuesday along with Intel. Google reports on Wednesday. Next week it's Netflix, Apple, Pandora, Facebook and Zynga, and Twitter the week after.

Will they prove investors' fears well-founded, or will those who stuck with them loyally be rewarded?


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"I'm not worried," said analyst Martin Pyykkonen, who covers the Web sector. "These stocks have been kind of straight-up for a while," he said.

"When you get a market pullback, money managers have to sell, and often times the big names get hit. After they've been given a pretty good haircut, the money managers will reassess and say it's time to get back in them."

Overall, the Web stocks are looking at a pretty good year, he said.

In fact, while the total market value of the Silicon Valley 150 is down 6.8 percent from its peak of $2.5 trillion this year, it's up 26 percent from $1.85 trillion a year ago.

Earnings are not as significant for young Web companies as they are for mature companies, said Brian Wieser with Pivotal Research Group.

Regardless of any investor unhappiness, "Twitter is doing fine," he said, and Yahoo's performance is tied to its investment in Alibaba, which is expected to go public this year.

A clue that some kind of pullback by investors was brewing is found in the SV150's performance for last year.

Profits were up almost 17 percent on sales that rose only 4.2 percent. Profits aren't likely to be as high this year unless there's a big improvement in sales.

Contact Pete Carey at 408-920-5419. Follow him on Twitter.com/petecarey.