Google: Profit up 60 Percent, War-Chest at $49.3B USD, Stock Split 2-to-1
April 13, 2012 7:01 PM
comment(s) - last by
850,000 Android devices are activated every day, Google's search business continues to rise in profits
Google Inc. (
) isn't number one in the tech industry in profit (
that would be Apple
, Inc. (
) -- $13.06B USD in Q1 2012) or in market cap (again, Apple -- $578B USD). But Google is still a giant in its own right, ruler of all things search, and owner of the most used smartphone operating system in the world, Android.
I. Core Earnings
its fiscal Q1 results and everything is looking fine and dandy.
Profit rose to $2.89B USD (non-GAAP; GAAP: $2.65B USD) vs. $1.80B USD (non-GAAP) a year ago. The earnings were more than 4 percent better than the analyst consensus. Net revenue rose to $10.65B USD, up from $8.58B USD in Q1 2011. That's a rise of 24 percent.
Search continues to drive Google's profits. [Image Source: Google Images/Unknown]
A major portion of Google's revenue goes to so-called "traffic acquisition costs", which include deals with top browser makers, etc., which funnel search traffic to Google's homepage, but also cost it money. These costs rose from $2.04B USD to $2.51B USD on a year-to-year basis (up 26 percent). However, paid clicks rose 39 percent, indicating Google is getting more bang for its buck and not simply buying more hits.
The company declined to break down revenue by a per-product basis, other than for YouTube and Search.
II. Vital Signs
Quick vital signs on core Google offerings:
: 200 million users (a figure that appears not to include Android Chrome)
YouTube: $5B per year USD in
display ad revenue
Android: 850,000 activations a day (310m devices a year); Google Play (revised app/video rental store) launched;
new Chrome browser launched
Google+: 170 million users (active?) (point of reference Facebook: 845m active users)
[Image Source: Jason Mick/DailyTech]
The software firm ended the quarter with just over 33,000 employees worldwide. The company has $49.3B USD of cash on hand (about half of
Google stock, currently hovering around $625 USD, will be offered a split of 2-to-1. However, the new shares will be non-voting shares, something that may turn off large investors. Thus liquidity is improved, but control is reduced -- which may give institutional investors mixed reactions. Indeed, Google's stock was down 3.75 percent today, despite the strong performance.
III. Dodging Those Pesky Taxes
The company also announced that for the first quarter of 2012, it is now paying an effective tax rate of 18 percent [
], above the average (~12 percent) for Fortune500 companies, but about half the supposed tax rate set forth by basic corporate tax law (35 percent of earnings), the rate small-to-midsize business are typically forced to pay.
Google in recent public comments, defended sourcing its regional head-quarters in low-tax regions like Ireland, Luxembourg, and the Caribbean as a way of masking its corporate earnings.
The company esentially said that it had to dodge taxes as a responsibility to shareholders,
We have an obligation to our shareholders to set up a tax-efficient structure, and our present structure is compliant with the tax rules in all the countries where we operate.
To its credit, Google was one of the only companies to effective own up to this practice in a public comment.
Google paid an incredible effective tax rate of 2.4 percent in 2010 [
The U.S. has a complex tax code, where top corporations and wealthy individuals typically pay a lower effective income tax than small-to-midsize businesses or the middle-class. This system is made confusing by the fact that the wealthy interests appear to be taxed more
-- among the highest taxes in the world in fact. The "discounts" are only added at tax time.
Google spent $9M USD in lobbying in 2011 [
]. And its political action committee (PAC) chipped in another $1M USD, largely party-agnostic [
]. Google gave $814,000 USD to U.S. President Barack Obama in his last campaign [
] and $165,000 so far this campaign [
]. Obama was the first presidential candidate since records became available to be heavily funded by Google.
Today U.S. politicians are much like NASCAR drivers in that they spend much time thanking their sponsors. Those thanks come in the way of tax loopholes, tax holidays, judicial favoritism, and other perks. A recent
University of Kansas
School of Business
[PDF] found that $1 given to a federal politician was worth $243 USD of tax breaks, if you contributed over $1M USD.
The cost of these bipartisan concessions come in the form of America's
$15T USD national debt
and tax barriers that discourage smaller individuals and competitors from rising in affluence, thanks to higher taxation.
IV. The Unknowns
What was not discussed during the earnings call? Notably, app statistics or Android revenue/profit. Speculation is high about exactly how profitable or non-profitable Android is. For now all Google would say was to call the platform a "gamble" and suggest that it is thus far paying off in activations (market share).
Also not discussed was the
top-three Android phonemaker Motorola Mobility
. Approved in the U.S. [
] and European Union [
], and approved by voting shareholders, the acquisition is almost ready for primetime. However, its completion has been stalled by China. China (also not mentioned in the earnings call) has
come to an "understanding"
with Google regarding
in its services, however, the world's most populous nation is still at odds with Google for complaining about being hacked.
Google's acquisition of Motorola is stalled pending Chinese approval.
[Image Source: TechnoBuffalo]
Many in the government of China have
advocated a model
in which foreign businesses must increasingly surrender their intellectual property in order to sell to Chinese users (note that manufacturers not selling to the Chinese market would be exempt -- for now). While
legislation to that end stalled
on the grounds of outrage from the U.S., China appears to be still encouraging a black market of IP theft of American firms.
Google, a prominent victim of such attacks and
spoken out against
the company's apparent promotion of the practice. China's top state-run newspaper responded with a
in a top interview, suggesting that Google should either put up with the abuse or get out.
China may be using the Motorola deal as a bargaining chip to try to convince Google that the correct answer is "put up with the abuse".
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
4/16/2012 9:13:59 AM
Is "everyone" lobbying Congress to pass laws that allow tax sheltering??
Oh, right.. No.
"I f***ing cannot play Halo 2 multiplayer. I cannot do it." -- Bungie Technical Lead Chris Butcher
Apple Makes $9.5B USD in Britain, Pays Only 0.16% in Taxes; Google Also Targeted
April 10, 2012, 5:46 PM
Google Promises "Moar Better Graphics" With GPU-Driven Chrome 18
March 30, 2012, 10:00 AM
Apple CEO Tim Cook: We Have More Money Than We Need
February 24, 2012, 8:13 AM
Google is Now (Almost) the Proud Owner of Motorola After EU/U.S. Approval
February 14, 2012, 11:40 AM
Quick Note: Google Launches Chrome Browser for ICS Smartphones, Tablets
February 7, 2012, 2:09 PM
Comcast Memo: Harassing Customers During Retention Calls Actually IS Our Policy
July 22, 2014, 5:19 PM
Aereo Now Claims It's a Cable Company, Reveals it Has Very Few Customers
July 22, 2014, 4:20 PM
Edward Snowden Presents Tech to Stop Government Spying
July 21, 2014, 12:00 PM
Verizon FiOS Network Upgrade Brings Symmetrical Upload/Download Speeds
July 21, 2014, 8:33 AM
Amazon Launches First Fire Phone TV Spot, Spends 30 Seconds Promoting Prime
July 18, 2014, 11:17 AM
Samsung Continues to Pick on Apple's iPad in Two New Commercials
July 13, 2014, 5:35 PM
Most Popular Articles
Microsoft Kills Entertainment Unit, May Shelve Flagship Lumia "McLaren"
July 18, 2014, 7:40 PM
Boeing 777 Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 Crashes in Ukraine
July 17, 2014, 1:00 PM
Google Signs Controversial Deal With Pharmaceutical Giant Novartis
July 16, 2014, 7:32 PM
Toyota Scientist: Autonomous Vehicles May Lead to Increased Fuel Consumption, Pollution
July 18, 2014, 2:42 PM
JJ Abrams Unveils X-Wing Starfighter for New "Star Wars" Movie
July 21, 2014, 12:24 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Space Terrorism is a Looming Threat For the United States
Apr 23, 2014, 7:47 PM
Facebook Aims to Provide Internet to "Every Person in the World" with Drones, Satellites
Apr 1, 2014, 10:20 AM
Retail Mobile Sites Experience Outages in Light of Simplexity's Bankruptcy
Mar 14, 2014, 8:48 AM
Tesla vs. BMW: Who Has the Safer EV?
Feb 1, 2014, 2:56 PM
Justice Leaks Details of Next HTC One Two Flagship Phone
Dec 5, 2013, 4:04 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information