Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Google Beats Wall Street Expectations, but What Are Its Expectations Going Forward?

Google beat Wall Street expectations in its first-quarter earnings, signaling that online advertising spending is back on track.

The search giant said net revenue–which excludes traffic-acquisition costs paid to partners–rose to $5.06 billion. Earnings per share rose in the first quarter of 2010 to $6.76, compared with $5.16 in the first quarter of 2009.

Net income climbed to $1.96 billion, or $6.06 a share, from $1.42 billion, or $4.49 a share in the same period last year, which was a 38 percent increase. Wall Street was expecting it to rise 30 percent.

It was a solid quarter for Google (GOOG), although not a barn burner, because investors expected it to do better than consensus.

Thus, Google’s stock price was down in after-hours trading about 3.5 percent to $575.84.

Encouragingly, paid clicks were up 15 percent, while revenue per click grew seven percent.

And as usual, Google was a money gusher, with $27 billion now in the kitty, giving the company the ability to buy whatever it likes.

“Google performed very well in the first quarter, with 23 percent year over year revenue growth driven by strength across all major verticals and geographies,” said Patrick Pichette, CFO of Google, in a statement. “Going forward, we remain committed to heavy investment in innovation–both to spur future growth in our core and emerging businesses as well as to help build the future of the open web.”

BoomTown liveblogged the earnings call, which began at 1:30 pm PT.

Google execs, well known for saying little, are unlikely to say much about the following: Its fight with China, its fight with Apple (AAPL) in the smartphone arena and more, and its possible fight with regulators over the mobile ad market related to its AdMob acquisition.

Here is Google’s slideshow about the first quarter:

And here is the official press release:


Please see this disclosure related to me and Google.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik