Friday, October 28, 2016
Google earnings top targets and the company will buy back $7 billion of stock
Google's mobile and video ad businesses helped it topped Wall Street financial targets in the third quarter and the company authorized a new, $7 billion stock repurchase.
Google’s stock barely budged in after hours trading, rising about 1% despite the strong results.
Here are the key numbers:
Net Revenue: $18.3 billion net revenue versus analyst expectations of $18 billion, up 21% year over year
EPS (adjusted): $9.06 versus analyst expectations of $8.64 per share
Other Bets revenue: $197 million, up from $141 million in the year-ago period.
Other Bets Operating Loss:$840 million, versus $980 million last year.
The so-called Other Bets, which include everything from smart home device company Nest to the high-speed Fiber service, have been under the spotlight in recent months amid a string of executive departures and limited revenue contribution.
On Tuesday, Google Fiber, the high-speed internet access service, halted plans to expand to several cities and said it was laying off 9% of its staff.
Google CFO Ruth Porat told investors during a conference call that the company was not abandoning the high-speed internet business entirely, and referred to new wireless technologies as a more important focus going forward.
And she defeneded the Alphabet corporate structure that was created in the summer of 2015.
"As we reach for moonshots that will have a big impact in the longer term it’s inevitable that there will be course corrections along the way and that some efforts will be more succesful than others," Porat said.
In any case, the real engine of the Alphabet parent company is Google. And Google's online ad business continued to thrive during the third quarter, thanks to the luctative video ads on the Google-owned YouTube site as well as the mobile ads Google displays on smartphones.
Revenue on Google's own family of websites rose 24% in Q3.
But Porat warned that the fees Google pays to mobile partners are higher than for its traditional online adveritsing business, cutting into profit margins.
Google's expenses are also like to rise as it spends money to advertise the new crop of hardware devices, such as the recently released Pixel phone and the upcoming Home speaker.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai did not provide any details about sales of the Pixel, or revenue expectations for the hardware business, but noted that he was pleased with the consumer reception of the Pixel so far.
The so-called "other revenue" category that includes Google's hardware sales, as well as revenue from the Googel Cloud business and from the Play store, increased 39% year-on-year to $2.4 billion in Q3.
Alphabet's stock reached an all-time high earlier this week after favorable reviews of its new Pixel phone.
With more than $80 billion in cash and sercurities now on its balance sheet, Google announced its second ever stock buyback on Thursday.
The $7 billion buyback is larger than he $5 billion buyback the company announced last year, and Google said the stock purchases would take place on both the open market and through privately negotiated transactions.
Google headcount increased by 3,378 in last three months to 69,953 employees.
Two of the more important numbers Google reports each quarter are cost per click — how much Google can charge for its ads — and paid clicks, how many times people click those ads. In the third quarter, aggregate paid clicks were up 33% versus an expected 26% — a 9% change from a year ago — and cost per click was down 11% versus an expected 4.8%. The decline in CPC was consistent with Q3 2015.
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