Friday, 19 October 2012

Google earnings leak early

Google stock plunged about 9 percent after the search-engine giant unexpectedly released its earnings report midday Thursday. The company posted earnings of $9.03 a share on revenue of $11.5 billion, missing expectations for $10.65 a share on sales of $11.86 billion. The company was scheduled to post after the closing bell.One section of the report contains a place for a "pending Larry quote, referring to Google CEO Larry Page. Google blamed the inadvertent early release on its financial printer, R.R. Donnelley, and said it would re-file its earnings later today.
"Earlier this morning RR Donnelley, the financial printer, informed us that they had filed our draft 8K earnings statement without authorization," a Google spokesperson told CNET in an e-mail. "We have ceased trading on NASDAQ while we work to finalize the document. Once it's finalized we will release our earnings, resume trading on NASDAQ, and hold our earnings call as normal at 1:30 Pacific Time."Google later officially released earnings, complete with Page's quote: "We had a strong quarter. Revenue was up 45 percent year-on-year, and, at just fourteen years old, we cleared our first $14 billion revenue quarter. I am also really excited about the progress we're making creating a beautifully simple, intuitive Google experience across all devices."Google earned $2.18 billion in the quarter, down 20 percent from the comparable quarter last year. Part of the blame falls to Motorola Mobility, which continues to struggle The unit, which Google acquired last year for $12.5 billion, generated a loss of $151 million.
More troubling, though, was that cost-per-clicks -- what advertisers pay Google each time a user clicks an ad -- fell 15 percent on the year. Meanwhile, traffic acquisition costs -- what Google pays to affiliates and other sites to drive users to its sites -- increased 25 percent, to 2.77 billion.
While profits fell, the company posted strong revenue growth. The company's consolidated revenue, which includes what Google spends to generate traffic, was $14.1 billion in the quarter, a 45 percent increase from last year.
Google's stock has been on a tear as of late, rising more than 30 percent this summer before hitting a record $774.38 earlier this month. That prompted a host of analysts to raise their price targets for the stock, led by Citi's Mark Mahaney, who issued a bullish report saying the stock could hit $850.On the mobile front, the company faces questions about whether its Android software will become a significantly larger portion of Google's revenues. The company has said it expects to generate $2.5 billion from Android this year -- a small fraction of its overall revenues, particularly given that it is the most-used mobile operating system on Earth. An analysis by Horace Dediu at Asymco projected that Google would generate only 2.5 percent of the revenue of Apple's iPhone this year.Google faces significant pressure from regulators on antitrust and privacy issues.A a majority of commissioners at the U.S. Federal Trade Commission favored bringing an antitrust lawsuit against Google, likely based on charges that the company's search algorithms feature its own results more prominently than those of its rivals.

Google Earnings Slides, Q3 2012

No comments:

Post a Comment