owen at permafrost.net
Thu Apr 21 21:23:29 PDT 2005
Ok its official. Even crappy old geezers like me are getting recruited
heavily. And Beberg? its officially time to lighten the fuck up.
> Ga-ga for Google
> Search engine blows away estimates, putting to rest doubts about a
> dot-com slowdown; shares soar.
> April 21, 2005: 6:06 PM EDT
> By Paul R. La Monica
> CNN/Money senior writer
> *NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - What Internet advertising slowdown? *
> Google, the world's leading search engine company, reported first
> quarter sales and earnings that crushed even the most optimistic of
> Wall Street analysts' expectations. The company reported a nearly
> six-fold increase in net income and pro-forma earnings, excluding
> various charges, that were substantially higher than consensus estimates.
> Sales, excluding advertising fees that Google shares with partners
> (known in the industry as traffic acquisition costs or TAC) came in at
> $794 million, well above Wall Street's forecast of $731 million. In
> fact, the highest estimate on the Street was $767 million.
> Google's news is further evidence that fears of a slowdown in online
> advertising earlier this year were way overdone. Google rival Yahoo!
> <http://cnnfn.investor.reuters.com/Reports.aspx?ticker=YHOO>) issued a
> strong first quarter report on Tuesday and issued bullish guidance for
> the second quarter and remainder of the year.
> "These are extremely strong results. There is nothing to quibble
> with," said Marianne Wolk, an analyst with Susquehanna Financial Group.
> Shares of Google
> <http://cnnfn.investor.reuters.com/Reports.aspx?ticker=GOOG>) gained
> more than 3 percent in regular trading on the Nasdaq Thursday closing
> above the $200 level for the first time since early February when
> Google announced better than expected fourth quarter results.
> The stock surged more than 6 percent after hours, according to INET.
> Based on after-hours prices, Google appears set to open near its
> all-time high. The company's stock has skyrocketed more than 140
> percent since going public in August.
> Google's results show that despite tough competition, the online
> advertising business is still booming. Google and Yahoo! have been
> locked in a fierce battle for Web users and the two are constantly
> rolling out new features to attract users, and advertisers.
> To that end, Google unveiled a new feature that allows people to
> browse an archive of prior searches on Thursday. Also on Thursday,
> Yahoo! announced that it formed a partnership with retailer Target
> (Research <http://cnnfn.investor.reuters.com/Reports.aspx?ticker=TGT>)
> to form a co-branded web site for storing digital photos.
> "The way I look at Google is that they are riding a wave and simply
> stated, the wave is keyword advertising," said Scott Kessler, an
> equity analyst with Standard & Poor's.
> During a conference call with analysts, Google CEO Eric Schmidt said
> that the company would continue its practice of not giving guidance to
> Wall Street.
> But given that Google beat Wall Street's estimates by such a
> substantial amount in the first quarter, it seems safe to say that
> second quarter consensus estimates should head higher in the next few
> Analysts are currently predicting that Google will earn a pro-forma
> profit of 93 cents per share, up from 58 cents in pro-forma earnings
> during the same period last year, according to Thomson/First Call.
> Sales, excluding TAC, are expected to be $768 million, compared to
> revenues of $423 million a year ago.
> "2005 is off to a very healthy start," said Google chief financial
> officer George Reyes during the conference call, adding that the
> strength is mainly due to increased traffic on Google sites. In
> addition, he said that there is no reason why Google would not at
> least track the growth rates seen in the rest of the online ad industry.
> But Google appears to be growing at a more rapid pace than its
> competitors. The company's revenues, excluding TAC, increased 21
> percent from the fourth quarter of 2004. Yahoo!'s sales, by way of
> comparison, were up just 4.6 percent on a sequential basis in the
> first quarter.
> Reyes said during the conference call that international revenues are
> becoming an increasingly important part of Google's overall sales,
> with international operations accounting for 39 percent of total
> sales, up from 35 percent in the fourth quarter.
> As such, Susquehanna's Wolk said that Google's success abroad is a key
> reason why she thinks the company can continue to post results that
> outpace the rest of the industry.
> "Google is the stronger play on the exceptional growth that search is
> seeing overseas," she said.
> Executives added during the call that the company expected to continue
> to invest in new products and that it was not planning a stock buyback
> anytime soon, as many other techs have done. Yahoo!, for example,
> recently announced a plan to repurchase as much as $3 billion's worth
> oft its shares over the next five years.
> Google finished the first quarter with $2.5 billion in cash, up from
> $2.1 billion at the end of December.
> But David Garrity, an analyst with Caris & Co., thinks that the fact
> that Google is not interested in a stock buyback, could be a sign that
> Google is gearing up for big acquisitions.
> /Analysts quoted in this story do not own shares of Google and their
> firms have no investment banking relationships with the companies./
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