|To: Lizzie Tudor who wrote (332)||7/19/2007 4:02:03 PM|
|From: Lizzie Tudor|
|GOOG Google Earnings Preview (549.33 -0.08) -Update-|
Google (GOOG) is set to report earnings after the close with expectations extremely higher for the co to blow out numbers for the sixth straight quarter. Co has been beating bottom line expectations by ~$0.27 on average over the last five quarters. Revenue growth has been falling steadily but not enough to alarm investors sliding to just below 65% in Q1. Shares have responded to the positive earnings report and now the stock is trading close to all time highs. Of course when one set the bar so high it can be difficult to keep up with expectations so it will certainly be interesting to see if GOOG is able to deliver to a crowd just waiting for the first slip up from this Wall Street darling. Stock was selling off earlier today on chatter that earnings may disappoint expectations and that an important executive would be leaving the team but we believe that was just speculation and did not have a basis behind the rumors. Items of interest on the call include: 1) Acquisitions: Co has been extremely busy with acquisitions, making eight alone this quarter. Their DoubleClick acquisition has been of particular interest to people and yesterday co was actually called in by the DoJ to discuss the acquisition. There are some analysts who are expecting some of these acquisitions to be dilutive so this could weigh in on EPS; 2) International Growth: Co's International growth has been trending slightly below domestic growth. We have been hearing that one of the places the co could surprise is based on stronger than expected European revenue which, given the FX tailwinds some other companies have seen, should provide a nice boost to results. On the flip side costs to ramp up international business could potentially hurt the bottom line; 3) Lost ad selling days at eBay: Co lost 10 ad selling days at eBay which could slow down results. We would note not a lot but when co's expectations are so high every little piece counts; 4) Guidance: Or lack thereof, recall co does not provide guidance to the delight of analysts everywhere; 5) Market Share: comScore data has shown that co did lose slight market share to MSFT last quarter. Any commentary regarding this will be of interest to investors; 6) YouTube: Everyone will be paying attention to how this acquisition is proceeding and the effect it is having on the co and the strategy going forward; 7) CapEx Spend: As noted in international trading a heavy spend hear could provide some headwind to the bottom line; 8) Reuters vs First Call rev Consensus: First Call excludes TAC while Reuters includes TAC. We would be very careful when comparing to consensus as this could cause a knee jerk reaction that opens up a golden opportunity... GOOG Consensus: Q2 Reuters EPS $3.59, revs $3.87 bln, FC revs $2.68; Q3 Reuters EPS $3.75, revs $4.10 bln, FC $2.87 bln; Y08 EPS $15.23, revs $16.29 bln, FC revs $11.39 bln... GOOG Guidance: CO DOES NOT PROVIDE GUIDANCE... Levels of Interest: GOOG Chart for levels of Interest
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|From: y2kate||7/19/2007 6:39:48 PM|
|Google is human, earnings miss|
World's top search engine reports better than expected sales but lower than anticipated earnings for second quarter; stock tumbles.
By Paul R. La Monica, CNNMoney.com editor at large
July 19 2007: 6:04 PM EDT
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Internet search leader Google reported a strong increase in revenue and earnings for the second quarter Thursday thanks to explosive demand for online advertising. But profits fell slightly short of expectations, disappointing investors that have grown accustomed to Google easily surpassing consensus estimates.
Shares of Google plunged more than 7 percent after hours following a slight drop in regular trading on the Nasdaq.
Google (Charts, Fortune 500), based in Mountain View, Calif., posted sales of $3.87 billion, up 58 percent from a year ago. Excluding advertising revenue shared with partners, a figure known as traffic acquisition costs or TAC, sales came in at $2.72 billion, ahead of the $2.68 billion in sales analysts were expecting on this basis.
The company reported a net profit of $925 million, or $2.93 per share, an increase of 28 percent from last year. So-called pro forma earnings, which don't include stock-based compensation, tax benefits and other items, were $3.56 per share, missing analysts' forecasts of $3.59 per share.
Shares of Google have surged nearly 20 percent so far this year and are currently less than 2 percent below their all-time high.
Investors have been bullish on Google since it continues to enjoy a wide market share lead in search over Yahoo (Charts, Fortune 500), which reported sluggish sales growth and a decline in profits for the second quarter Tuesday, Microsoft's (Charts, Fortune 500) MSN andIAC (Charts, Fortune 500)-owned Ask.com.
Web measurement war heats up
Wall Street is also optimistic that Google's recent merger spree will pay dividends as the company seeks to expand in areas beyond keyword search. The company bought online video kingpin YouTube last year and is in the process of buying Internet ad placement firm DoubleClick and security software service Postini.
But the earnings miss, only the second since Google went public in August 2004, may be spooking some investors, who had believed that the company would once again blow away Wall Street forecasts.
One analyst said investors may be overreacting since Google is still, far and away, the dominant player in Internet advertising.
"These numbers are really strong. Whatever weakness you are seeing today in the stock is temporary. The fundamentals are phenomenal," said Steve Weinstein, an analyst with Pacific Crest Securities.
But Jordan Rohan, an analyst with RBC Capital Markets, said investors should not be surprised that Google's earnings missed estimates and that sales did not come in substantially higher than projections.
For one, the second quarter is typically not as strong for Internet advertising as the first quarter and fourth quarter since it corresponds with the end of spring and beginning of summer, a time when online traffic tends to dip in the United States.
During a conference call with analysts, Google chairman and CEO Eric Schmidt said that seasonality was not a problem during the quarter though, with traffic at Google's site being higher than the company had expected.
He also said Google did not see an impact from a temporary boycott of ads from eBay (Charts, Fortune 500) in the quarter. The online auction giant, Google's biggest customer, allegedly pulled some business from Google to protest a party Google was planning to hold to promote its Google Checkout product, which competes with eBay's PayPal.
Still, sales weren't the reason investors were upset. Google has been spending aggressively in order to boost future growth prospects. This may be a wise move strategically but it does hurt short-term profits, helping to explain why earnings were only up 28 percent despite a nearly 60 percent increase in revenue.
Schmidt said that the company did expect to see meaningful growth in the future from newer businesses that it has invested in such as video advertising on YouTube as well as so-called display advertising, which includes various forms of graphical ads. But he declined to give any specifics about what percentage of revenue was currently coming from businesses beyond search.
Cerfing the Web
Research and development expenses increased nearly 90 percent in the quarter while sales and marketing costs surged more than 80 percent. Schmidt said bonuses to employees also contributed to increased costs in the quarter.
"Google did exactly what they told us they would, they spent as much as they possibly could to fund future growth. This earnings miss wasn't that hard to figure out," Rohan said, adding that Google might want to rein in some of its spending.
Schmidt conceded during the call that Google will keep a closer eye on its rapidly expanding headcount in the future. Google finished the quarter with 13,786 employees worldwide, up from 12,238 employees at the end of the first quarter in March.
Another analyst suggested that profit estimates may have been too high for Google, which does not give sales or earnings guidance and is pretty tight-lipped about other financial measures, since analysts were caught off guard by the increase in bonus payments. Absent this increase however, Google did not appear to be spending out of control.
"The quarter was so much better on the top line than we expected thanks to the strength of international expansion but expenses were much higher than we thought they should be because of the bonuses," said Marianne Wolk, an analyst with Susquehanna Financial Group.
"There wasn't one unusual item that made a big difference. Google could have handily beat forecasts if not for the adjustments in bonus accruals. When investors examine that, they'll feel comfort and it won't appear as if investments are running amok," she added.
And chief financial officer George Reyes said Google will continue to invest heavily in the future, particularly in more rapidly growing international markets. Google's international sales surged 78 percent in the quarter from a year ago and accounted for 48 percent of Google's total revenue.
Schmidt said Google has invested heavily in China in particular in order to compete against top Chinese Internet companies like Baidu (Charts) and Sina (Charts).
But Reyes added that Google will be more discerning with its cash in the future.
"We are taking a careful look at investments and how we allocate resources around the world," Reyes said during the call. Google finished the quarter with more than $12.5 billion in cash and marketable securities on its balance sheet.
Analysts quoted in this story do not own shares of Google and their firms have no investment banking ties to the company.
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|From: Julius Wong||12/11/2007 7:14:24 AM|
|China Can't Spell G-O-O-G-L-E as Search Engine Falters as Verb |
By Janet Ong and John Liu
Dec. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Google Inc., the owner of the world's most-popular Internet search engine, is struggling to become a verb in China.
``G-O-O-G-L-E is not a normal Chinese spelling and people don't pronounce it right,'' Kai-fu Lee, Google's president for Greater China, said in a Nov. 30 interview in Beijing. ``Most people call us `go go.'''
Mountain View, California-based Google, so well-known in most countries that the Oxford English Dictionary lists its name as a verb, has less than half of Baidu.com Inc.'s 61 percent market share in China. Lee, recruited from Microsoft Corp. in 2005 to expand Google in China, said he will try new advertising strategies to overcome the language barrier. He declined to provide more information.
``Very few people know Google and what they stand for'' in China, said Charley Kan, managing director of Mediaedge:cia, a unit of WPP Group Plc, the world's second-largest advertising company. ``Compared to Baidu, it is in a weak position.''
China, the world's second-largest Internet market with 162 million users, may overtake the U.S. in three to five years, according to Oppenheimer & Co. analyst Sandeep Aggarwal in San Francisco. Online advertising, the source of 99 percent of Google's revenue, may quadruple to 20 billion yuan ($2.7 billion) in China in the four years ending in 2010, according to Beijing- based Analysys International.
Google generated 250 million yuan in search revenue in China last year, Credit Suisse Group estimated in June. That's less than 1 percent of the company's $7.3 billion total in 2006. Google doesn't disclose sales in individual countries.
No `gle' Sound
Internet addresses in China are based on the Hanyu Pinyin system that translates Chinese characters into roman letters. Sounds such as ``gle'' don't exist.
``That's a big problem for us,'' Lee said.
Google last year acquired the ``G.cn'' domain so users who misspell the company's name still get directed to its Chinese- language Web site ``Guge,'' or ``harvesting song.'' The adoption of the name in 2006 prompted criticism that it was a song about something going downhill because ``gu'' also means valley.
``It's a name that would appear to have been picked by someone who doesn't know Chinese,'' said Liu Bin, an analyst at Beijing-based researcher BDA China Ltd. ``It hasn't helped their marketing.''
Yahoo! Inc., owner of the world's most visited Web site, is also struggling. Its market share in China slipped to 10 percent in the third quarter, from 13 percent a year earlier, Analysys said. Yahoo owns 39 percent of Alibaba.com Corp., which took control of the U.S. company's China unit in 2005.
``We set our sights on the leader. Google is still doing what Google does, but it is not our focus,'' said Porter Erisman, an Alibaba spokesman in Beijing. ``Our main concern is building a long-term sustainable business.''
Hundreds of Times
Baidu, meaning ``hundreds of times,'' widened its market- share lead to 61 percent from 57 percent after offering bulletin boards and an encyclopedia service, according to Analysys estimates. Google's share rose to 24 percent from 16 percent.
Beijing-based Baidu's shares have surged 15-fold since their August 2005 initial public offering, valuing the company at about 100 times projected 2008 earnings, estimates compiled by Bloomberg show. Google's stock more than doubled over the same period and trades at 35 times estimated profit. Yahoo trades at a multiple of 48.
`Very Good Company'
``Baidu is a very good company that has been able to meet the needs of the Chinese advertiser and user more effectively than Google,'' said Walter Price, who owns Baidu and Google shares as part of the $120 billion he helps manage at RCM Capital Management in San Francisco.
Google failed to close the gap with Baidu after providing Web searches for mobile phones and online maps, and buying minority stakes in China's Tianya Internet Technology Ltd. and Shenzhen Xunlei Network Technology Ltd. to offer social- networking services.
Lee also faces the challenge of expanding in a country where the government bans criticism of the state. Google's China service excludes some information censored by the government, such as material about the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989.
Yahoo Chief Executive Officer Jerry Yang last month apologized to the mother of Chinese dissident Shi Tao, who was arrested in 2002 after the company gave his e-mail records to Chinese officials. The arrest prompted the U.S. Foreign Affairs Committee in October to approve a law that outlaws aiding countries in limiting Internet access to restrict human rights.
``Google definitely doesn't want the same thing to happen to them that happened to Yahoo,'' said Elinor Leung, an analyst at CLSA Ltd. in Hong Kong.
Google has increased the number of engineers in the Greater China region to 200, its biggest research and development team outside the U.S., by offering higher salaries and perks such as free massages.
The company will begin ``some experimentation'' for advertising in the next 30 days, Lee said. ``In China, we need to do more. If people don't know Google is a search engine, or if they can't spell Google, they don't know you are better.''
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|From: Mick Mørmøny||8/6/2008 7:14:30 PM|
|Google Employee Uses Street View for Marriage Proposal|
by Tim Stevens, posted Aug 6th 2008 at 1:17PM
We've seen some odd things from Google's Street View, which provides a 360-degree view of the highways and byways through many towns to help you find your way, but we haven't seen any geek marriage proposals yet. It took a Google employee, Michael Weiss-Malik, to pull that off. Weiss-Malick took advantage of a GoogleMobile drive-by to show his undying love for his fiancee, Leslie.
Yes, she was already his fiancee, having accepted an earlier (and far less geeky) proposal. For round two, though, Michael decided to go a little more high-tech, which you can see for yourself here. So, congrats on the engagement Michael -- and we hope Leslie doesn't ever find you doing something shadier via the service. [From: ValleyWag]
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|From: JakeStraw||1/15/2009 11:20:19 AM|
|Google lays off 100 recruiters|
Cutting contractors in the recruitment operation wasn't enough, so Google's own employees got cut as well. Also: adios bottled water?
Wed, Jan 14 17:06:00 PST 2009
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