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Google: Apple Nemesis Delivers Robust Q1 Results

  • Written by Syndicated Publisher 308 Comments308 Comments Comments
    April 23, 2012

    Google posted robust 1Q results topping the consensus estimates by a wide margin – revenues increased 24% to US$10.6 billion as against US$8.6 billion in the same period, a year earlier. This was significantly higher than the consensus estimate of US$8.2 billion for the period.Revenues were in line with our estimates – we expect full year revenues to total US$43.1 billion. Revenues from Google websites accounted for around 69% of total advertising revenues while that from the partner websites contributed to around 27% of revenues. The remaining 4% of revenues were accounted for by licensing and other fees. Geographically, the US generated around 46% of total revenues, UK accounted for 11% of total revenues while other markets accounted for the rest 43% of revenues.

    All paying subscribers should download the Google Q1-2012 Valuation Summmary, wherein we have updated the valuation numbers for Google using a variety of metrics. Click here to subscribe or upgrade.

    Growth in revenues was driven by an increase in click volumes, especially in the US market. The number of clicks increased by a significant 39% year-on-year and 7% quarter-on-quarter during 1Q highlighting the increasing popularity of the search engine. However, on the flip side, the cost-per-click or the average cost paid by advertisers declined 12% year-on-year during the period – largely due to the growing business in the emerging markets and mobile space, which usually carry lower margins. Nonetheless, Google’s strong position in the mobile space – including both smartphones and tablets – is enabling the company to generate robust revenue growth. The Company also continues to benefit from the success of its DoubleClick ad exchange as well as the overall improving quality of advertisements. Google also witnessed growth in the European and Asian markets. Japan registered strong performance largely on account of higher contribution from SMB segment.

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    Total costs increased 16% year-on-year to US$3.8 billion as against US$2.9 billion in the same period, a year earlier. This was largely due to the fact that the Company made investments in new products, increased its advertising expenses as well as increased wages. Further, higher amortization charges, the data center operations cost as well as content acquisition costs drove the overall cost of sales higher. As a result, higher costs had a negative impact on gross margins which contracted by 136 basis points to 64.4% as against 65.8% in the year earlier quarter.

    Operating expenses increased 16% year-on-year to US$7.3 billion as against US$6.3 billion in the same period, a year earlier. A 25% jump in selling and marketing expenses was largely responsible for the spike in operating expenses. The R&D expenses in fact declined as a percentage of sales during 1Q. Higher operating expenses had an adverse affect on margins which contracted 77 basis points to 31.8% during 1Q.

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    From the profitability perspective, Google outshone nearly all its competitors as earnings increased by a significant 61% to US$2.9 billion (or US$8.75 per share) as against US$1.8 billion (or US$5.51 per share). Further, the Company continues to have a strong balance sheet with cash balances at an enormous US$49.3 billion at the end of 1Q.

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    All paying subscribers should download the File Icon Google Q1-2012 Valuation Summmary, wherein we have updated the valuation numbers for Google using a variety of metrics.

    Google still exhibits the likelihood that they will control mobile computing for the balance of the decade. A couple of bits from our archives…


    There are currently 7 Google reports available. Select the “Google Final Report” and click the “Download” button. You will receive a 63 page analysis that looks like this on the cover…

    The table of contents outlines how we have broken Google down into distinct businesses and identified both the individual business models and the potential revenue streams, as well as  valuation for each business line.

    Page 57 of the analysis shows a sensitivity table which outlines the various scenarios that can come into play and how it will change our outlook and valuation opinion.

    Professional/institutional subscribers can actually access a subset of the model that we used to create the sensitivity analysis above to plug in their own assumptions in case they somehow disagree with our assumptions or view points. Click here for the model: Google Valuation Model (pro and institutional). Click here to subscribe or upgrade.

    Images: Flickr (licence/attribution)

    About The Author

    Reggie Middleton is an entrepreneurial investor who guides a small team of independent analysts to uncover truths, seldom if, ever published in the mainstream media or Wall Street analysts reports. Since the inception of his BoomBustBlog, he has established an outstanding track record
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