Google profit soars in third quarter

Google profit soars in third quarter
AFP
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First Published: Fri, Oct 15 2010. 11 51 AM IST
Updated: Fri, Oct 15 2010. 11 51 AM IST
Sanfrancisco: Google on Thursday reported that its quarterly profit soared on the back of its thriving Internet advertising service and that its display and mobile ad businesses are taking wing.
A 32% leap in net profit to $2.17 billion and a 23% surge in revenue to $7.29 billion trumped Wall Street expectations for the California firm in the quarter that ended 30 September.
Google shares were up 8.98% to $589.50 in after-hours trading.
“Google had an excellent quarter,” said the California company’s chief executive, Eric Schmidt.
“Our core business grew very well, and our newer businesses -- particularly display and mobile -- continued to show significant momentum.”
Google executives were eager to show that the Internet giant can pump money from more than just text ads posted with search results and offered a rare glimpse into the revenue breakdown in an earnings call with press and analysts.
Google is on track this year to take in $2.5 billion from display advertising and more than a billion dollars from ads on mobile devices, according to senior vice-president of product management Jonathan Rosenberg.
Display ads are essentially online billboards as opposed to promotional links served up with search results.
While not revealing whether YouTube is making a profit, Google executives noted that the company makes money from display ads at 2 billion of the more than 14 billion videos viewed weekly at the Google-owned website.
“Clearly we are running on all cylinders in display,” Rosenberg said.
Google is chasing Facebook and Yahoo! in the display ad business and is expected to have a 6% share of a US market that should total $8.6 billion this year, according to eMarketer.
Facebook and Yahoo! account for 9.7% and 15.3% of the US display ad market respectively, eMarketer reported.
The Google-backed Android software platform for mobile phones has been a “phenomenal success” and the handsets are used heavily for searching the Internet, Schmidt said.
Search remains the core of Google’s business, Rosenberg said.
“Search is still the most monetizable moment on the Internet,” he said. “As search gets better, our ads have to keep up.”
Google is planning to tap into the power of people’s online social connections to make Internet searches more rewarding, according to Schmidt.
“Fundamentally, we want to make search more personal,” Schmidt said. “As we get more information about who your friends are we can make the search that much better.”
Facebook and Microsoft began personalizing Internet queries on Wednesday, letting people add the recommendations of friends at the social network to Bing search results.
Facebook profiles and feedback regarding what friends like were being woven into Bing searches for people who agree to let a free software module access the information.
Google’s share of the core US search market grew to 66.1% in September, evidently due to a new “Instant” feature that delivers suggested results with each query letter typed, according to industry tracker comScore.
Microsoft’s portion of the market improved a fraction to 11.2% while that of Yahoo! slipped from 17.4% in August to 16.7% in September, comScore reported Wednesday.
Approximately $12.4 billion will be spent in the United States this year on ads at search engines, with Google expected to rake in 73.3% of that cash, according to eMarketer.
Google said it is ramping up hiring efforts in a “war” over top technology industry talent.
“We stepped up our hiring machine,” said Google chief financial officer Patrick Pichette. “The difference between winners and losers will be based on who we can attract and retain.”
Google was being “generous but frugal” in its hiring tactics, Pichette added to fend off concerns that profits might suffer under the weight of rising employee expenses.
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First Published: Fri, Oct 15 2010. 11 51 AM IST