Well, Google's recent quarterly earnings have shown that, so far, it is. The company just continues to make money hand over fist in the internet search arena, and has worked many acquisitions into itself to prepare for the day when -- gasp -- it can't grow by leaps and bounds on search results-based text advertising prowess alone. The company reported huge Q3 earnings today, with revenues of over $4.23 billion.
Analyst consensus expectations were for a $3.25 EPS figure, and Google smashed that with a $3.38 (GAAP) figure. So, stay tuned below as we'll hear what Google execs have to say about yet another record-setting quarter. Be sure and use the "Refresh" key to make sure you catch all the minute-by-minute updates below. All times are in EST.
4:30pm -- Google's Q3 call is about to begin. Until then, check out the company's Q3 financials here. What a quarter, eh?
4:33pm -- now that the usual disclaimers are complete, here are some Google Q3 highlights just now underway in the call:
- Google reported revenues of $4.23 billion for the quarter ended September 30, 2007, an increase of 57% compared to the third quarter of 2006 and an increase of 9% compared to the second quarter of 2007. A 57% increase from a year ago? Man-o-man, Google can do no wrong it seems. A footnote to that result: Google reports its revenues, consistent with GAAP, on a gross basis without deducting traffic acquisition costs, or TAC. In the third quarter of 2007, TAC totaled $1.22 billion, or 29% of advertising revenues.
- GAAP operating income for the third quarter of 2007 was $1.32 billion, or 31% of revenues. This compares to GAAP operating income of $1.10 billion, or 29% of revenues, in the second quarter of 2007. Non-GAAP operating income in the third quarter of 2007 was $1.52 billion, or 36% of revenues. This compares to non-GAAP operating income of $1.35 billion, or 35% of revenues, in the second quarter of 2007.
4:42pm -- Schmidt is talking about George Reyes (he recently announced his retirement) before George takes the reins to go over the financial overview. George takes the reins, with these highlights:
- GAAP net income for the third quarter of 2007 was $1.07 billion as compared to $925 million in the second quarter of 2007. Non-GAAP net income in the third quarter of 2007 was $1.24 billion, compared to $1.12 billion in the second quarter of 2007.
- GAAP EPS for the third quarter of 2007 was $3.38 on 317 million diluted shares outstanding, compared to $2.93 for the second quarter of 2007 on 315 million diluted shares outstanding. Non-GAAP EPS in the third quarter of 2007 was $3.91, compared to $3.56 in the second quarter of 2007.
- Some stock-based compensation information: non-GAAP operating income, non-GAAP operating margin, non-GAAP net income, and non-GAAP EPS are computed net of stock-based compensation (SBC). In the third quarter of 2007, the charge related to SBC was $198 million as compared to $242 million in the second quarter of 2007. Tax benefits related to SBC have also been excluded from these non-GAAP measures. The tax benefit related to SBC was $31 million in the third quarter of 2007 and $43 million in the second quarter of 2007. Reconciliations of non-GAAP measures to GAAP operating income, operating margin, net income, and EPS are included at the end of this release.
- Google Sites Revenues - Google-owned sites generated revenues of $2.73 billion, or 65% of total revenues, in the third quarter of 2007. This represents a 68% increase over third quarter 2006 revenues of $1.63 billion and a 10% increase over second quarter 2007 revenues of $2.49 billion.
- Google Network Revenues - Google's partner sites generated revenues, through AdSense programs, of $1.45 billion, or 34% of total revenues, in the third quarter of 2007. This represents a 40% increase over network revenues of $1.04 billion generated in the third quarter of 2006 and an 8% increase over second quarter 2007 revenues of $1.35 billion.
- International Revenues - revenues from outside of the United States totaled $2.03 billion, representing 48% of total revenues in the third quarter of 2007, compared to 44% in the third quarter of 2006 and 48% in the second quarter of 2007. Had foreign exchange rates remained constant from the second quarter of 2007 through the third quarter of 2007, Google's revenues in the third quarter of 2007 would have been $24 million lower. Had foreign exchange rates remained constant from the third quarter of 2006 through the third quarter of 2007, our revenues in the third quarter of 2007 would have been $121 million lower.
- Revenues from the United Kingdom totaled $661 million, representing 16% of revenue in the third quarter of 2007, compared to 16% in the third quarter of 2006 and 15% in the second quarter of 2007.
- Paid Clicks - Aggregate paid clicks, which include clicks related to ads served on Google sites and the sites of our AdSense partners, increased approximately 45% over the third quarter of 2006 and approximately 5% over the second quarter of 2007.
- Income Taxes - Google's effective tax rate was 27.3% for the third quarter of 2007 compared to 25.5% in the second quarter of 2007. And get this: as of September 30, 2007, cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities were $13.1 billion for the company. Google appears to be trying to catch Microsoft as the cash-pile king.
4:55pm -- Page hands the call over to company co-founder Sergey Brin, who begins to hit on the company's tech improvements for the quarter. He's talking AdSense improvements and the new ads in YouTube, and how the company approached ads that would not be distracting to customer viewing experiences. As usual, Google has taken a different approach to inserting ads into video sites that don't aggravate or turn away customers.
4:58pm -- Brin is also talking about its video ads (television, not internet), and how much interest it has received from ad customers since the accountability is much different with Google's model than traditional television advertising (in terms of ROI measurement and payback calculation).
5:00pm -- Brin hands the call back over to Schmidt, who begins wrapping up the comments. The analyst Q&A begins. First question: how is the MySpace partnership going? What is Google learning here? Answer form Schmidt defers to Kordestani and Brin. Brin answers: the MySpace partnership has required quite a bit of tech innovation and Google has been working hard on personalization of that partnership for the specific customer base of MySpace.
5:02pm -- next question: is iGoogle doing that well, but is Google planning on improving the product? Is there is tech limit to adding things like other applets from the internet as well as advertising on many areas of iGoogle? Schmidt answers: there are some legal limits to adding content in the way that was described, but he does not see any intrinsic technical limits to doing these things. Jonathan Rosenberg says that there are very little limits, but the gadgets that will be forthcoming have to be what customers want.
5:07pm -- next question: future use of capital: does Google plan on investing in social networking websites of properties? How about Google's wireless bids plan for radio spectrum. Answer from Schmidt: he can't comment on specific investments, although Google won't be worrying about burning a hole in its pocket with its cash. Larry answers about the 700MHz auctions: Google has many different scenarios it has looked at for wireless, but it does not need to win radio spectrum really bad or anything. Yeah, right.
5:11pm -- next question: when will the DoubleClick acquisition be closed? Answer from Schmidt: not exactly known, but all the steps are proceeding as planned, and a good outcome is expected from Google.
5:14pm -- next question: how is Google's mobile search developing? Does that require the investment like in computer-based search? The question here is digging at a gPhone more than anything. Answer from Page: Google sees more of an opportunity in the mobile space rather than looking at the arena as a required cost to stay up with the competition. Great deflection, there.
5:18pm -- next question: one Postini's addition to Google's headcount (most of them came in the sales arena). Does Google need this many sales employees? Answer from Kordestani: Google wants to make sure it has the best sales headcount in every country (keeping relationships with advertising customers directly). He says that the field sales force needs to be unified (not duplicated) in all markets to ensure that one voice covers all Google's products to its customers.
5:23pm -- next question: how successful is the monetization of YouTube at this time? Progression is going on, according to Brin, but that is not the main focus right now. Google is trying to improve the experience first before trying to get all the money it can from advertising. Also, ad overlays are the latest ad form on YouTube -- but they are by no means the only thing Google will consider to try and have the best advertising form on YouTube.
5:26pm -- last question: Google Checkout: how i it being adopted, with the holiday season approaching? Answer from Brin: Google Checkout is continuing to grow (he uses it all the time) and the company is adding customers all the time to use Google Checkout on their sites. PetSmart, Drugstore.com and others have been added to Google Checkout, with more and more top-500 companies signing on to use the transaction-completion service.
5:31pm -- that's it! Google has another standout quarter and many pieces of its strategy are seemingly falling into place nicely. Right now, however, the majority of the company's revenue is still coming in from text-based advertising. Google is transitioning to more revenue sources, though (as it should). Well, where can Google go from here? $6 billion in quarterly revenue? Surely!
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