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The 2012 holiday shopping season was one for the online retail records and that led to a very merry Christmas for Google, which reported its fourth quarter earnings yesterday.
All eyes were on the search giant, which failed to deliver in the third quarter, much to the disappointment of Wall Street.
But there was no disappointment this time as the company delivered $14.4bn in revenue, a 36% year-over-year increase, and earnings of $2.9bn, up from $2.7bn in the same quarter a year ago.
Facebook's blockbuster IPO was, by most measurements, did not live up to expectations. Marred by NASDAQ trading glitches and accusations that Facebook and its investment bankers pulled a fast one on retail investors, the world's largest social network may have the dubious distinction of having one of the largest and at the same time most disappointing IPOs of all time.
Yesterday, Facebook had the opportunity to make amends by producing a strong second quarter earnings report. Here's the good, the bad, and the ugly of what it delivered.
Google reported its third quarter earnings after the close of the US stock exchange today and, as it has done more than a few times in the past, the Mountain View company delivered more than analysts were expecting.
Net revenue in the quarter was $4.38bn with earnings per share of $5.89. Analysts had expected $4.24bn in net revenue and $5.42 in earnings per share. All told, total revenue was up 7% year-over-year. So the good news: Google is managing to grow even in a very tough economic environment. The bad news: growth is, by past standards, a bit modest.
All eyes were on Google yesterday afternoon when the search engine giant reported its earnings for the second quarter. Because of its position, Google has served as a sort of proxy for gauging the global recession's effects on the internet economy.
Based on Google's results, there's good news and bad news. The good news: things could be far worse. The bad news: things could be far better.
The recession has been tough on most publicly-traded tech companies. Even Google, which has held up quite well, has admitted that the recession has made an impact on its business.
So is there any major tech company that hasn't really been affected? After reading its Q2 results yesterday, you might be inclined to answer 'yes'; Apple appears about as close to unaffected as a company can be.
The results are in: investments in AOL and a company called Clearwire contributed to a 68% drop in Q4 profit for Google but an 18% increase in sales helped the beat analyst expectations.
All told, Google achieved net income of $382m on total revenue of $5.7bn. Sales, excluding commissions paid to partners, was $4.22bn, beating the consensus estimate of $4.12bn.
When Google reports its Q4 2008 earnings this Thursday, a lot will be learned about the state of the consumer internet and the online advertising market.
As I mentioned yesterday, one estimate has search advertising spend dropping significantly (8%) in the quarter. This despite the fact that search advertising was expected to hold up better than display advertising; some even predicted search advertising would benefit from a flight to quality.