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Google ad prices decline, shares fall sharply

Reuters/ AFR | July 19, 2013
Google reported second-quarter results short of Wall Street's estimates as weakening prices for the internet company's ads and widening losses from its Motorola mobile phone business weighed on the bottom line.

Google reported second-quarter results short of Wall Street's estimates as weakening prices for the internet company's ads and widening losses from its Motorola mobile phone business weighed on the bottom line.

Shares of Google, which had risen to all-time highs in recent weeks, were down more than 5 per cent at $US863 in after- hours trading on Thursday, having earlier closed at $US910.68 on the Nasdaq.

The average price of Google's online ads decreased 6 per cent year-on-year in the second quarter, compared with the first quarter's 4 decrease, even as the overall number of internet user clicks on Google ads increased 23 per cent during the quarter.

"Most of these incremental clicks (on ads) are either coming from international or mobile (users), which are not as high-priced as domestic or desktop clicks," said Sameet Sinha, an analyst with B. Riley & Co. "International and mobile don't monetise as well. That's the main concern. Those businesses are less profitable."

Google, the world's No. 1 internet search engine, said net income in the quarter was $US3.23 billion, or $US9.54 per share, compared with $US2.79 billion, or $US8.42 per share, in the year-ago period.

Excluding items, Google earned $US9.56 per share, lower than the $US10.78 expected by analysts, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Google's consolidated revenue, which includes results from its Motorola mobile phone business, was $US14.11 billion in the second quarter, versus $US11.81 billion in the year-ago period. Analysts expected $US14.4 billion.

Revenue for its core business rose 20 percent to $US13.11 billion.

Operating margins dipped to a lower-than-expected 28 per cent in the quarter from 33 per cent a year earlier. Motorola, a money-losing handset manufacturer Google acquired in 2012, racked up a loss of $US218 million before items, more than four times the $US49 million it lost a year earlier.

 

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