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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Struggling to Make Sense of Google Earnings

In the wake of Google's recent earnings release there are few surprises. Financial analysts had a few takes on things to try to lend insight. But beyond that, I've been struggling with coming up with something interesting to say. Especially when you look at the bar graph of the last six quarters of revenues (from the slide show).

The word that fits all of it for the past six quarters is, pretty much: flat.

  • Total revenues are flat.
  • International revenues are flat, though slight trends upwards have been noted.
  • Revenues from search ads are flat.
  • Revenues from the content network are flat.
  • The stock price is basically flat (down 8.9%) over the past year. Then again, it depends on your perspective. It's up 40.9% over the past six months.
  • Over the past one month and over the past five days, the stock is within 1% of where it traded at the beginning of the period. Can you say flat?
Some things have to be up a bit (total paid search clicks for example), so that these other numbers can actually be flat, because some other things are down.

Down:
  • CPC's, especially in some competitive bid-war-driven areas
  • Your mileage, however, may vary.
Also down:
Which means that:
  • Profit is up.
So:
  • It's business as usual with an ever-growing cash pile at Google. The company has added over $3 billion to its cash on hand over the past 6 months.
  • World domination is still on the agenda.
Maybe Google's world isn't as flat as it looks.

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Posted by Andrew Goodman




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