Saturday, 24 October 2015 04:55

Google profits soar

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Google has joined Microsoft in reporting a quarterly profit increase. The company also announced a stock buyback.

Alphabet has released Google's financial results for the quarter ending 30 September. That was the last complete quarter before the reorganisation that separated the company's search and related businesses from its other, often more speculative, businesses.

The headline figures showed almost US$4 profit (up 45% year-on-year, though by 18% when calculated on the non-GAAP basis that tech companies believe gives a more accurate idea of the state of their businesses) from almost $18.7 billion revenue (up 13%).

As we saw with Microsoft earlier this week, currency fluctuations have worked against Google. Adjusted for constant currency, that revenue growth increases to 21%.

Alphabet attributed the improvement to substantial growth in mobile search revenue, along with contributions from YouTube and programmatic advertising.

"Our Q3 results show the strength of Google's business, particularly in mobile search. With six products now having more than 1 billion users globally, we're excited about the opportunities ahead of Google, and across Alphabet," said Alphabet and Google CFO Ruth Porat.

New mobile ad formats and increased ad space at the top of mobile search results improved click rates, she told a conference call.

Traffic acquisition costs rose just 6.5%, and total operating expenses remained stable at 37% of revenues.

The company took on a significant number of additional employees during the year. The headcount rose 16% from 51,564 to 59,976.

Alphabet used the results announcement to reveal plans for the repurchase of almost US$5.1 billion of its shares. The buyback - which had a positive reception from the investment community - will begin this quarter. Google holds more than US$72 billion in cash, near cash and marketable securities.

Image: Shawn Collins [CC BY 2.0 ] via Flickr


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Stephen Withers

Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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