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Google Corporate Earnings Driven by Paid Clicks to $50 Billion in Cash

Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) is out with its corporate earnings report for the first quarter of 2013. The Internet search giant’s results were up 16% to $11.58 in earnings per share (EPS) and the sales were up 31% to $13.97 billion in revenue. Thomson Reuters had consensus estimates of $10.69 EPS and $14.04 billion in revenue. As a reminder, Google does not offer forward earnings guidance.

Perhaps our largest single concern in Google is not the erosion of desktop ads into mobile, but the paid clicks and the revenue mix changing so much now that Android and smartphone and tablet devices are becoming larger and larger for the company. The company showed that paid clicks rose by 20% while the prices paid per click was down 4%.

Cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities were $50.1 billion. Google’s headcount only grew by 30 people and was listed as 53,891 full-time employees (38,739 in Google and 9,982 in Motorola Mobile and 5,170 in Motorola Home) on March 31, 2013 versus 53,861 full-time employees as of December 31, 2012.

Here are the Google unit and operating metrics along with any adjustments:

  • Non-GAAP operating income in the first quarter of 2013 was $4.22 billion, or 30% of revenues. This compares to non-GAAP operating income of $3.94 billion, or 37% of revenues, in the first quarter of 2012.
  • In the first quarter of 2013, the expense related to SBC and the related tax benefits were $681 million and $149 million compared to $556 million and $118 million in the first quarter of 2012.
  • Google-owned sites generated revenues of $8.64 billion or 67% of total revenues, up 18% increase over first quarter 2012 Google sites revenues of $7.31 billion.
  • Google-owned sites revenue was $8.64 billion or 67% of total Google revenues, up 18% over first quarter 2012 Google sites revenues of $7.31 billion.
  • Other revenues from Google grew by 150% to $1.05 billion, or 8% of total Google revenues.
  • Motorola Mobile Revenues are hardware and other sales and this was $1.02 billion or 7% of consolidated sales.
  • Google International Revenues came to $7.1 billion or 55% of total Google revenues in the first quarter, up from 54% in the fourth quarter of 2012 and in the first quarter of 2012.
  • Paid Clicks rose 20% over the first quarter of 2012 and increased approximately 3% over the fourth quarter of 2012.
  • Cost-Per-Click decreased approximately 4% over the first quarter of 2012 and decreased approximately 4% over the fourth quarter of 2012.
  • Traffic acquisition costs (or TAC, revenues shared with Google’s partners) rose to $2.96 billion in the first quarter of 2013 versus $2.51 billion in the first quarter of 2012. TAC was flat at 25% of sales.

Google shares closed down 2% at $765.91, against a 52-week range of $556.52 to $844.00, and we have shares trading up marginally after the report.

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