Google Q3 Earnings Leak: $14.1 Billion, Disappoint Surprised Investors

google-g-logo-2012Google’s Q3 “consolidated earnings” leaked early and are below analysts’ expectations. Search clicks were up 33 percent vs. a year go but CPCs were down 15 percent, probably a result of the impact of lower mobile CPCs. Traffic acquisition costs were also up, as were other expenses.

Investors were surprised by the early release and generally disappointed. The press release, which appeared on the SEC website, says “pending Larry quote.” So the early release was a draft and not final. Clearly this was a mistake. Earnings were supposed to come out after the market closed today. Nonetheless the proverbial cat is out of the bag.

Total Google consolidated revenues (including Motorola) were $14.1 billion, which represents a 45 percent increase vs. last year. Indeed, this was the first quarter in which Google reported Motorola revenues.

Google reported that Motorola brought in $2.58 billion (“$1.78 billion from the mobile segment and $797 million from the home segment”). This was 18 percent of consolidated Q3 revenue. However there was a Motorola operating loss of $527 million.

Google top-line results:

  • Google (only) Revenues: $11.53 billion or 82 percent of total revenue (including Motorola). This was a 19 percent increase over Q3 last year.
  • Google Sites Revenues: Google properties saw $7.73 billion, which was 67 percent of total quarterly revenues. It also represents 15 percent growth over last year.
  • Google Network Revenues: $3.13 billion, or 27 percent of total Google revenues — a 21 percent increase vs. a year ago.
  • Google International Revenues: $6.11 billion or 53 percent of total Q3 revenue. UK revenues were $1.22 billion (or 11 percent of the total).

Here are some additional details from the release:

  • Paid Clicks – “increased approximately 33 percent” vs last year and 6 percent vs. Q2.
  • Cost-Per-Click – “decreased approximately 15 percent” compared with Q3 2011 and down 3 percent vs. Q2. This may be a result of mobile CPCs being quite a bit lower (marketers are valuing mobile clicks less than PC clicks)
  • Traffic acquisition costs, paid to network partners, increased to $2.77 billion in Q3 (vs. $2.21 billion in Q3 2011).
  • Other Cost of Revenues – “increased to $3.78 billion, or 27 percent of revenues.”

Google cash on hand and cash equivalents was $45.7 billion in Q3. The company also said it had 53,546 full time employees (36,118 Google, 17,428 Motorola). Google also paid an effective tax rate of 22 percent for Q3 2012.

In response to the leak Google stock was down roughly 10 percent. Trading of Google was halted for a couple of hours today.

Postscript: The official release is now out. Below are the Q3 earnings slides.

2012 q3 google_earnings_slides from gesterling


Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.


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