Google Announces 3rd Quater 2009 Result: $6 Billion Revenue

Eric Schmidt headshotGoogle Inc. today announced financial results for the quarter ended September 30, 2009.

“Google had a strong quarter–we saw 7% year-over-year revenue growth despite the tough economic conditions,” said Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google. “While there is a lot of uncertainty about the pace of economic recovery, we believe the worst of the recession is behind us and now feel confident about investing heavily in our future.”

Q3 Financial Summary

Google reported revenues of $5.94 billion for the quarter ended September 30, 2009, an increase of 7% compared to the third quarter of 2008. Google reports its revenues, consistent with GAAP, on a gross basis without deducting traffic acquisition costs (TAC). In the third quarter of 2009, TAC totaled $1.56 billion, or 27% of advertising revenues.

Google reports operating income, operating margin, net income, and earnings per share (EPS) on a GAAP and non-GAAP basis. The non-GAAP measures, as well as free cash flow, an alternative non-GAAP measure of liquidity, are described below and are reconciled to the corresponding GAAP measures in the accompanying financial tables.

  • GAAP operating income in the third quarter of 2009 was $2.07 billion, or 35% of revenues. This compares to GAAP operating income of $1.65 billion, or 30% of revenues, in the third quarter of 2008. Non-GAAP operating income in the third quarter of 2009 was $2.39 billion, or 40% of revenues. This compares to non-GAAP operating income of $2.02 billion, or 37% of revenues, in the third quarter of 2008.

  • GAAP net income in the third quarter of 2009 was $1.64 billion, compared to $1.29 billion in the third quarter of 2008. Non-GAAP net income in the third quarter of 2009 was $1.88 billion, compared to $1.56 billion in the third quarter of 2008.

  • GAAP EPS in the third quarter of 2009 was $5.13 on 320 million diluted shares outstanding, compared to $4.06 in the third quarter of 2008 on 318 million diluted shares outstanding. Non-GAAP EPS in the third quarter of 2009 was $5.89, compared to $4.92 in the third quarter of 2008.

  • Non-GAAP operating income and non-GAAP operating margin exclude the expenses related to stock-based compensation (SBC) and, in the third quarter of 2008, the settlement agreement with the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers (AAP). Non-GAAP net income and non-GAAP EPS exclude the expenses related to SBC and, in the third quarter of 2008, the settlement agreement with the Authors Guild and the AAP, and the related tax benefits. In the third quarter of 2009, the charge related to SBC was $318 million, compared to $280 million in the third quarter of 2008. The tax benefit related to SBC was $73 million in the third quarter of 2009 and $63 million in the third quarter of 2008. In the third quarter of 2008, we recognized $95 million of expense related to the settlement agreement with the Authors Guild and the AAP. The tax benefit related to the settlement agreement was $39 million in the third quarter of 2008. Reconciliations of non-GAAP measures to GAAP operating income, operating margin, net income, and EPS are included at the end of this release.

Q3 Financial Highlights

  • Revenues – Google reported revenues of $5.94 billion in the third quarter of 2009, representing a 7% increase over third quarter 2008 revenues of $5.54 billion. Google reports its revenues, consistent with GAAP, on a gross basis without deducting TAC.
  • Google Sites Revenues – Google-owned sites generated revenues of $3.96 billion, or 67% of total revenues, in the third quarter of 2009. This represents an 8% increase over third quarter 2008 revenues of $3.67 billion.
  • Google Network Revenues – Google’s partner sites generated revenues, through AdSense programs, of $1.80 billion, or 30% of total revenues, in the third quarter of 2009. This represents a 7% increase from third quarter 2008 network revenues of $1.68 billion.
  • International Revenues – Revenues from outside of the United States totaled $3.14 billion, representing 53% of total revenues in the third quarter of 2009, compared to 53% in the second quarter of 2009 and 51% in the third quarter of 2008. Excluding gains related to our foreign exchange risk management program, had foreign exchange rates remained constant from the second quarter of 2009 through the third quarter of 2009, our revenues in the third quarter of 2009 would have been $166 million lower. Excluding gains related to our foreign exchange risk management program, had foreign exchange rates remained constant from the third quarter of 2008 through the third quarter of 2009, our revenues in the third quarter of 2009 would have been $297 million higher. Revenues from the United Kingdom totaled $765 million, representing 13% of revenues in the third quarter of 2009, compared to 14% in the third quarter of 2008. In the third quarter of 2009, we recognized a benefit of $39 million to revenues through our foreign exchange risk management program.
  • Paid Clicks – Aggregate paid clicks, which include clicks related to ads served on Google sites and the sites of our AdSense partners, increased approximately 14% over the third quarter of 2008 and increased approximately 4% over the second quarter of 2009.
  • Cost-Per-Click – Average cost-per-click, which includes clicks related to ads served on Google sites and the sites of our AdSense partners, decreased approximately 6% over the third quarter of 2008 and increased approximately 5% over the second quarter of 2009.
  • TAC – Traffic Acquisition Costs, the portion of revenues shared with Google’s partners, increased to $1.56 billion in the third quarter of 2009, compared to TAC of $1.50 billion in the third quarter of 2008. TAC as a percentage of advertising revenues was 27% in the third quarter of 2009, compared to 28% in the third quarter of 2008. The majority of TAC is related to amounts ultimately paid to our AdSense partners, which totaled $1.33 billion in the third quarter of 2009. TAC also includes amounts ultimately paid to certain distribution partners and others who direct traffic to our website, which totaled $229 million in the third quarter of 2009.
  • Other Cost of Revenues – Other cost of revenues, which is comprised primarily of data center operational expenses, amortization of intangible assets, content acquisition costs as well as credit card processing charges, decreased to $667 million, or 11% of revenues, in the third quarter of 2009, compared to $678 million, or 12% of revenues, in the third quarter of 2008.
  • Operating Expenses – Operating expenses, other than cost of revenues, were $1.64 billion in the third quarter of 2009, or 28% of revenues, compared to $1.72 billion in the third quarter of 2008, or 31% of revenues.
  • Stock-Based Compensation (SBC) – In the third quarter of 2009, the total charge related to SBC was $318 million, compared to $280 million in the third quarter of 2008. We currently estimate SBC charges for grants to employees prior to October 1, 2009 to be approximately $1.2 billion for 2009. This estimate does not include expenses to be recognized related to employee stock awards that are granted after September 30, 2009 or non-employee stock awards that have been or may be granted.
  • Operating Income – GAAP operating income in the third quarter of 2009 was $2.07 billion, or 35% of revenues. This compares to GAAP operating income of $1.65 billion, or 30% of revenues, in the third quarter of 2008. Non-GAAP operating income in the third quarter of 2009 was $2.39 billion, or 40% of revenues. This compares to non-GAAP operating income of $2.02 billion, or 37% of revenues, in the third quarter of 2008.
  • Interest and Other Income (Expense), Net – Interest and other income (expense), net decreased to an expense of $7 million in the third quarter of 2009, compared to an income of $21 million in the third quarter of 2008.
  • Income Taxes – Our effective tax rate was 21% for the third quarter of 2009.
  • Net Income – GAAP net income in the third quarter of 2009 was $1.64 billion, compared to $1.29 billion in the third quarter of 2008. Non-GAAP net income was $1.88 billion in the third quarter of 2009, compared to $1.56 billion in the third quarter of 2008. GAAP EPS in the third quarter of 2009 was $5.13 on 320 million diluted shares outstanding, compared to $4.06 in the third quarter of 2008 on 318 million diluted shares outstanding. Non-GAAP EPS in the third quarter of 2009 was $5.89, compared to $4.92 in the third quarter of 2008.
  • Cash Flow and Capital Expenditures – Net cash provided by operating activities in the third quarter of 2009 totaled $2.73 billion, compared to $2.18 billion in the third quarter of 2008. In the third quarter of 2009, capital expenditures were $186 million, the majority of which was related to IT infrastructure investments, including data centers, servers, and networking equipment. Free cash flow, an alternative non-GAAP measure of liquidity, is defined as net cash provided by operating activities less capital expenditures. In the third quarter of 2009, free cash flow was $2.54 billion. We expect to continue to make significant capital expenditures. A reconciliation of free cash flow to net cash provided by operating activities, the GAAP measure of liquidity, is included at the end of this release.
  • Cash– As of September 30, 2009, cash, cash equivalents, and short-term marketable securities were $22.0 billion. On a worldwide basis, Google employed 19,665 full-time employees as of September 30, 2009, down from 19,786 full-time employees as of June 30, 2009.

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Tarek is the founder and chief researcher at Youngberry, a youth research and marketing firm dedicated to the region. Tarek founded interactiveME.com and previously worked as Manager at Flip Media (Interactive Agency), Bayt.com (Job Site) and Consulting House Qatar (Consulting firm). He is researcher and writer on internet & disruptive innovation, entrepreneurship, and youth culture.