Oct 25, 2007

Google Roars Back........

Google Inc.'s third-quarter profit soared 46 percent to hurdle the enormous expectations that have elevated the Internet search leader's stock price by more $100 during the past month.
The Mountain View-based company said Thursday that it earned $1.07 billion, or $3.38 per share, for the three months ended in September, up from net income of $733.4 million, or $2.36 per share, at the same time last year. If not for the cost of awarding stock to its steadily expanding work force, Google said it would have earned $3.91 per share. That topped the average estimate of $3.78 per share among analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial. Revenue for the period totaled $4.23 billion, a 57 percent increase from $2.67 billion last year.

Google, which is growing revenue and profit four to five times faster than rivals Microsoft and Yahoo Inc is expected by Wall Street analysts to generate revenue of $16.6 billion this year, virtually all through online advertising. Apparently, every one of its top 100 advertising accounts was increasing spending with Google and there’s potential for further growth, based on customer’s current spend levels. The Company is trying to convince it’s large customers that Search Advertising can be synonymous with building a corporate brand. together."

After subtracting commissions paid to its thousands of advertising partners, Google's revenue stood at $3.01 billion — about $70 million above the average analyst estimate. The performance represented a return to form for Google after its second-quarter earnings disappointed Wall Street. The company has surpassed analyst estimates in all but two of the 13 quarters since its August 2004 initial public offering. Investors already had been counting on a stellar quarter from Google and their assumptions contributed to a 19 percent increase in Google's stock price during the past month as the shares smashed through $600 for the first time - closing at $668.51 last night.

Google's earnings statement is looking pretty good, in fact it's share price has increased more than sevenfold from the IPO price to create an about $175 billion in additional shareholder wealth. The company is thriving because more advertisers are shifting spending to the Internet, where Google has built the most effective system to connect with prospective customers. There's ample opportunity to display the ads because Google currently fields about 1.2 billion search requests worldwide per day, based on the latest data from Comscore Inc. That's more than quadruple the number of requests handled by its next closest competitor, Yahoo Inc. Nearly two-thirds, or $2.73 billion, of Google's revenue came from searches and other activity on its own Web sites.

And according to data from Comscore released last week, Google's market share lead over Yahoo and other search firms grew in September. Google finished September with market share of 57 percent, according to Comscore, up from 56.5 percent in August. Yahoo's market share also grew, but by a smaller amount, from 23.3 percent in August to 23.7 percent in September. Live Search came in third at 10.3%, ASK.com had 4.7% share and AOL rounded out the group with 4.3% share. It's worthy of note that Live Search, ASK and AOL - all lost share in the quarter.

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