Google blows minds with Q3 earnings

Faith Merino · October 15, 2010 · Short URL:

Shares rocket $54, or 10%, as quarterly sales hit $7.29 billion and income jumps to $2.2 billion

Shares of Google were up $54, or 10%, to $594.58 in early-morning trading.

Google announced its third quarter earnings late Thursday in what might have been named Operation Shock and Awe.  

What’s all the hoopla about?  According to Google’s third quarter revenues jumped 23% to $7.29 billion, compared to 2009’s third quarter income of $5.94 billion, and net income rose 18% to $2.2 billion.  And now the jump in share price has added more than $15 billion to Google’s market cap. 

Other highlights from Google’s third quarter: non-GAAP earnings per share rose to $7.64, compared to Wall Street analysts estimates of $6.67, and $5.89 in the third quarter of 2009.  Google-owned sites generated revenues of $4.83 billion, or 67% of total revenues, in the third quarter of 2010, which translates to a 22% increase from third quarter 2009 revenues of $3.96 billion.  Google’s partner sites generated revenues, of $2.20 billion, or 30% of total revenues, courtesy of AdSense, in the third quarter of 2010, which represents a 22% increase from third quarter 2009 network revenues of $1.80 billion.

Revenues from outside of the United States remain steady at $3.77 billion, representing 52% of total revenues in the third quarter of 2010, as they did, more or less, in the second quarter of 2010 and the third quarter of 2009 (53%).

Paid clicks rose 16% over the last year and 4% since the second quarter of 2010, while cost-per-click increased 3% since 2009 and 2% since last quarter.

Overall, Google walked away from the third quarter with $33.4 billion in cash and had a headcount of 23,331 employees.  Approaching a market valuation of $200 billion, Google is now nipping at the heels of Microsoft, which has a $218 billion market valuation.

The earnings announcement seems to jive with comScore’s Wednesday release of its top search engine rankings, which, as expected, saw Google sitting pretty at the top, followed by Yahoo, Microsoft, Ask, and AOL.  But, more importantly, Google-owned sites have been steadily growing their market share.  In comScore’s September 2010 rankings, Google commands 66.1% of the market, up slightly from 65.4% the month before.  In September of 2009, Google was the reigning power with a market share of 64.9%. 

In an anticlimactic understatement, Google CEO Eric Schmidt remarked on the company’s third quarter earnings: "Google had an excellent quarter.  Our core business grew very well, and our newer businesses -- particularly display and mobile -- continued to show significant momentum. Going forward, we remain committed to aggressive investment in both our people and our products as we pursue an innovation agenda."

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