Google Revenue Robust, CEO Recovering - InformationWeek

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Google Revenue Robust, CEO Recovering

CEO Larry Page may have lost his voice, but his company keeps delivering health revenue growth. Google says enterprise business has reached a tipping point.

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Google shares surged in after-hours trading on Thursday following a stronger-than-expected Q2 2012 earnings report.

In its first quarter with Motorola Mobility as a subsidiary, Google reported $12.21 billion in revenue and $10.12 EPS for the quarter ending on June 30. That's up from $10.65 billion and $10.08 per share in Q1 this year, thanks in part to Motorola's revenue of $1.25 billion. Google's net income increased by 11%.

Wall Street analysts had been expecting EPS more along the lines of $10.04 per share.

CEO Larry Page in a statement said that Google on its own delivered 21% year-on-year revenue growth and noted that the company had launched its Nexus 7 tablet to rave reviews.

Page, still recovering from an undisclosed ailment that has affected his voice, did not participate in Google's earnings conference call for investors.

[ Read Google Chrome Apps Escape Browser. ]

CFO Patrick Pichette said during the conference call that Google's headcount had grown to about 54,600 full-time employees, most of those being workers at Motorola Mobility. Google itself added about 1,200 new employees. Pichette indicated that the management review of Motorola's operations had only just begun and that Google was not yet ready to discuss how the Motorola may change under Google's stewardship.

Nikesh Arora, SVP and chief business officer, reviewed Google's ongoing ad company acquisitions and ad platform improvements. Recalling skepticism expressed in recent years about YouTube's value, he said, "We can declare we found our [business] model."

Arora didn't provide specifics about YouTube's revenue impact but said 72 hours of video are being uploaded every minute and insisted that thousands of YouTube partners are earning six-figure incomes. Knowing the more about these partners, their size, and video production expenses, would give more meaning to these figures.

Arora also noted that companies like American Express, AT&T, and Unilever are advertising on YouTube.

According to eMarketer, the total U.S. advertising market is expected to reach $169.5 billion in 2012, up from $158.9 billion in 2011. The metrics firm estimates that about one in 10 ad dollars spent in the U.S. will go to Google.

Arora said that Google's enterprise business had reached a tipping point, characterizing it as a "serious small but growing business." He repeated previously released statistics, noting that Google now has over 5 million enterprise customers.

"You can't fake a commitment to cloud computing," he said.

Susan Wojcicki, SVP of advertising, discussed Google's consumer product developments, such as the Google Knowledge Graph, a way to enhance search queries with related information, and Google Now, an intelligent agent technology designed to present information as needed.

Google, she said, was moving past being just a search engine toward understanding broad concepts. Repeating previously released figures about the number of Google+ accounts (250 million), she acknowledged that Google knows its social network is still young and that its community is still developing.

"Overall we've been really pleased with the growth that we've seen," said Wojcicki. "I do think it's important to remember that Google+ just celebrated its one-year anniversary."

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