While they’ve bounced back from time to time (such as Q1 2008), Google is probably pretty happy to finally be sticking it to the analysts where it hurts the most—the bottom line—as they post an estimate-beating Q3, with 31% YOY growth in revenues. Paid clicks were up 18% YOY
Business Week reports on the earnings call, as well. Highlights include the Q&A session, which focused heavily on the current state of the economy:
Question about whether advertisers are changing behavior because of the economy. Not really, says Varian: “Advertisers are willing to take all the clicks we can give them at the current CPCs (cost per click),” and he thinks that will continue regardless of the economy.
Question about impact of economy on retail given eBay’s bearish outlook[*]: Varian, as he did last quarter, still think Google could actually benefit as people are careful about shopping and search even more for better deals.
Question about improvement in margins–from cost cutting or change in advertising arrangements? Pichette: “Across all categories of expenses, people have been very diligent” in watching expenses. Hiring was less than in previous quarters. Capital expenditures were lowest since Q1 2006, another analyst notes.
Google’s stocks closed up 9%, which is a heck of a lot better than when they reported only 58% growth, with stocks closing down 7%.
What do you think—is Google a buy or a sell?