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Google profits swell (only) 24 per cent

UK lag

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Google's revenues leapt 24 per cent during the second quarter, and profits rose 24 per cent as well. But that wasn't enough to satisfy the Wall Street guessmen.

Mountain View raked in $5.09bn during the quarter ending June 30, up from $4bn in last year's Q2, while income rose to $1.84bn, up from $1.48bn.

"Everyone read the press – what's been happening in Europe, the this, the that. For us, it's been a really great quarter," chief financial officer Patrick Pichette said during a conference call with reports and analysts. "We've seen no impact of what's been going on in the macro world on us."

As a result, Google continues to hire new heads, particularly engineers and sales folk. During the quarter, the company added about 1,200 employee – though that includes the acquisition of mobile ad outfit AdMob and other buys. "Successful products do require investment," Pichette said.

Three quarters ago, Google told the world that the Meltdown was over and that it would be hiring in large numbers again after several quarters of belt-tightening.

But if you exclude certain costs, the company's earnings translated to $6.45 per share, slightly below the $6.52 a share expected by analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.

Google shares dropped more than four per cent in after hours trading.

Aggregate paid clicks – which ad clicks on Google sites as well as the partner sites serving up AdSense ads – jumped about 15 per cent from Q2 2009. But they decreased about three per cent from the first quarter, due to what Pichette called "the typical summer seasonality." Meanwhile, the average cost-per-click grew about four per cent from last year and about two per cent from Q1.

Google sites pulled in revenues of $4.50bn – 66 per cent of total revenues – while the AdSense partner sites generated $2.06bn – 30 per cent of the total.

Revenues generated outside the US topped $3.53 billion, accounting for about 52 per cent of the total. Pichette said the company was pleased with its international growth – though a softer economy caused a revenue drop in the UK. UK revenues were $770m in Q2, 11 per cent of the total. A year ago, the UK accounted for 13 per cent.

"On a relative basis, the UK lagged a bit behind the global economic economy, certainly relative to the US and the rest of the world, which were strong," Pichette said.

During today's call, Pichette and Google vice president Jonathan "Perfect Ad" Rosenberg gave analysts the impression they were particularly pleased with the progress of display advertising, particularly on YouTube. "Our display network, which includes YouTube, is growing very rapidly," Pichette said. But he declined to provide specific YouTube numbers.

He also played up Android's growth, but the company again declined to provide specific numbers. Second quarter numbers still include (minimal) revenue from the sale of Google's Nexus One phone. But after Q3, this will go away, as Google has killed the thing. ®

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