Google reports strong revenue growth but misses profit expectations, ad rates still falling

Google’s Q2 revenue grew by more than 20 percent compared with the same quarter of last year, beating the consensus expectations of Wall Street analysts, but the company’s bottom line was smaller than expected: excluding one-time expenses, Google reported earnings of $6.08 per share — lower than the $6.25 that Wall Street stock-watchers were expecting. Although the company doesn’t comment on expectations, it did say that spending had increased, primarily as a result of data center construction.
The company’s revenues totalled $15.96 billion — up 22 percent year-over-year — compared with consensus estimates of $15.61 billion, and earnings after taking into account spending related to stock-based compensation and other expenses hit $3.42 billion or $4.99 per share. After excluding those costs, earnings totaled $4.18 billion.
One of the metrics that analysts and investors have been watching closely at Google is the cost-per-click related to the company’s ads (the amount Google gets paid by advertisers for each click), whether on its own Google-owned and operated sites such as YouTube or on the sites of partners who belong to AdSense or AdMob networks. The cost-per-click on both its own and its partner properties declined again in the most recent quarter, dropping by 6 percent.
Google cost per click
For the first time, Google has started breaking out the figures for its cost-per-click on its own sites versus those of its network partners, and the difference is fairly dramatic: on Google owned and operated sites, CPC was down 7 percent in the quarter, but for network sites it was down almost twice as much at 13 percent. The growth of mobile usage has been a big part of this decline, since mobile ads tend to cost less.
Google’s capital expenditures hit $2.65 billion, up from $2.35 billion in the first quarter and $1.6 billion in the second quarter of last year. Chief financial officer Patrick Pichette said on the company’s conference call with analysts that the higher spending was a result of data center construction and real estate acquisitions, and that investors “should see it as a positive signal, a sign of our sustained optimism about Google’s business.”
Post and thumbnail images courtesy of Flickr user Affiliate