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Google exhales another $14bn revenue figure

Mountain View Chocolate Factory continues production of gold bars

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Google reported hefty earnings of $14.11bn on Monday for the second quarter of its fiscal year, up 19 per cent on the same quarter a year ago.

The growth was even ahead of last quarter's $13.97bn, though that had been down on Q4 2012's $14.42bn and Q3's $14.10bn.

Net income was $3.23bn, down slightly on quarter one's $3.35bn, but up on the $2.79bn reported in the second quarter of 2012. Non-GAAP earnings per share was $9.56, compared with $10.16 in the second quarter of 2012.

The results came in significantly below analyst estimates of $10.17 earnings per share, and $14.42bn in revenue.

Ad revenues climbed slightly to $8.87bn, from $8.64bn in the previous quarter, and represented 68 percent of Google's revenues – up from 67 per cent previously.

Paid clicks increased by 4 per cent on the previous quarter, and 23 per cent over Q2 2012.

But the slide in value of actual clicks – Google's core business – continued, with cost-per-clicks falling 2 per cent on the previous quarter, which was in itself down 4 per cent on Q4 2012, and 6 per cent on the same quarter a year ago.

The fall in cost-per-clicks is most likely due to the proliferation of mobile devices and a shift in browsing habits as people spend less time on desktops and more time browsing from devices on the go, where they are thought to be less keen to click on ads.

Given Google's fostering of Android we're sure that some nights in Mountain View executives are a little confused as to how they let this particular genie out of the bottle.

Traffic-acquisition costs increased to $3.01bn from 2.96bn the previous quarter, but held steady at 25 per cent of overall revenues.

Other revenues – which pulls in revenues from things like the Google Play store, Chromebooks, and Google Apps for Enterprise – can be considered an indicator of performance for Google's strategically important non-search products, remained flat at $1.05bn, or around 8 per cent of Google's revenues.

"Now more than half of the fortune 500 companies use a paid enterprise product from Google - this means we've got close long-term relationships with our customers," Nikesh Arora, Google's chief business officer, said.

The rot remains at Motorola Mobile, with the division reporting revenues of $998m or 7 per cent of consolidated revenues, compared to $1.05bn in the previous quarter, and $1.51bn in the quarter before that.

Capital expenditures – data centers, IT equipment, and offices – jumped as well to $1.6bn, compared to $1.2bn for the previous quarter.

"Google had a great quarter," Larry Page said on a call discussing the earnings. "We live in a world of abundant computing. It is a very different environment from when Google started, there was one OS in one device category, the PC."

"The shift from laptop to mobile, from one screen to multiple screens, creates tremendous opportunity for Google."

Page proceeded to talk about how the proliferation of devices and people online means "the potential to improve people's live is immense". When we run this through our patented Reg corp-speak decoder, it spits out: "as people flood onto our platform we are confident we can extract even more cash from them".

During the quarter news has been building about the rumored "Moto X" device, and Page confirmed its existence and said "having been a tester for a while, I"m really excited," but gave no further information. ®

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