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GOOG: A Billion Dollars Here, A Billion There

By - February 01, 2005

GoogafterStill writing, so I’ll just note this, link to coverage, (here’s Technorati on Google Earnings) and say: Holy shit. A billion dollar quarter (not including TAC – traffic acquisition costs – of about $378 million). Release in extended entry. And…in 2004, the company created a billion in net cash. Yow. How’s the company doing in the markets? Check here. It’s up nearly 12 points in after hours trading – in the first few minutes.

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Google Announces Record Revenues for Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year

2004

February 01, 2005 4:02:00 PM ET

Google Inc. GOOG today announced financial results for the quarter

ended December 31, 2004.

– Google reported record revenues of $1.032 billion for the quarter

ended December 31, 2004, up 101% year over year. Google reports its

revenues, consistent with GAAP, on a gross basis without deducting

traffic acquisition costs (“TAC”), or the portion of revenues shared

with our partners.

– Income from operations, on a GAAP basis, was $303 million, or 29.4%

of revenues for the quarter ended December 31, 2004 compared to $86

million or 16.9% of revenues for the prior year’s quarter.

– Income from operations includes a $60 million non-cash, stock-based

compensation charge compared to a $85 million non-cash, stock-based

compensation charge in the prior year’s quarter.

– Net income on a GAAP basis for the quarter ended December 31, 2004

was computed based on the following income statement or condensed

income statement line items. Net income is derived from the above

mentioned revenues of $1.032 billion, traffic acquisition costs of $378

million, as well as other costs and expenses before stock-based

compensation of $291 million, stock-based compensation of $60 million,

other income of $7 million and a provision for income taxes of $106

million.

– Some Wall Street analysts use non-GAAP measures to analyze our

operating results. For instance, they may subtract traffic acquisition

costs of $378 million from revenues of $1.032 billion to arrive at a

net revenues amount. Also, certain analysts may arrive at net income

before stock-based compensation by subtracting traffic acquisition

costs of $378 million, other costs and expenses before stock-based

compensation of $291 million (less other income of $7 million) and a

provision for income taxes of $106 million from revenues of $1.032

billion.

– Net income on a GAAP basis in the fourth quarter of 2004 was $204

million or $0.71 per share on a diluted basis based on 285.9 million

weighted average shares outstanding.

– Net cash provided by operating activities for the twelve months

ended December 31, 2004 totaled $977 million as compared to $395

million last year, an increase of 147%.

– Adjusted EBITDA, another measure of liquidity, increased by $236

million or 125% to $425 million (or 41 % of revenues) in the fourth

quarter of 2004 from $189 million in same quarter of 2003 (or 37% of

revenues) and from $321 million (or 40 % of revenues) in the third

quarter of 2004.

“Google had an exceptional quarter. Revenues and profits increased

significantly, our execution was solid across the company and most

importantly, our relationship with our users, partners and advertisers

became even stronger,” said Eric Schmidt, Google chief executive

officer. “All of this happened while we continued to innovate, expand

around the world and make strategic, long-term investments.”

Q4 Financial Highlights

Revenues – Revenues in the quarter totaled a record $1.032 billion,

representing a 28% increase over the third quarter of 2004 and a 101%

year-over-year increase. This revenues growth reflects strong traffic

and monetization growth in the quarter as well as advertisers’ growing

recognition of the Internet as an effective advertising medium.

Google-Sites Revenues – Google-owned sites generated $530

million or 51% of total revenues. This represents an increase

of 118% over the fourth quarter of 2003.

The Google Network – Revenues generated on Google’s partner

sites, through AdSense programs, contributed $490 million, or

48% of total revenues, a 92% increase over the Network

revenues generated in the same quarter last year.

TAC – Traffic Acquisition Costs, the portion of revenues shared with

Google’s partners, increased to $378 million or 77% of Google Network

revenues. This compares to total payments to partners of $216 million

in the fourth quarter of 2003, or 85% of Google Network revenues.

Income from Operations – Income from operations in the quarter, on a

GAAP basis, totaled $303 million or 29.4% of revenues, and included a

non-cash charge of $60 million for stock-based compensation. This

compares to operating income of $86 million or 16.9% of revenues in the

same period of 2003, when the stock-based compensation charge was $85

million. This improvement in operating margins was primarily due to

decreases in stock-based compensation expense and traffic acquisition

cost as a percentage of revenues.

Income Taxes – Google recorded a provision for income taxes of $106

million in the fourth quarter, an effective tax rate of 34% as compared

to a $62 million provision for income taxes and a 70 % effective tax

rate in the fourth quarter of 2003. The provision for income taxes in

the fourth quarter was reduced by $66 million related to certain items,

$42 million due to ISO disqualifying dispositions and $24 million

related to certain stock-based compensation charges recognized prior to

the IPO. The company expects its effective tax rate before these items

to generally trend lower over the long term to a rate below 35%.

However, the company may experience volatility in its quarterly

effective tax rates as a result of certain stock option activity.

Net Income – Net income on a GAAP basis increased to $204 million or

19.8% of revenues in the fourth quarter of 2004 as compared to $27

million or 5.3% of revenues in the fourth quarter of 2003. Earnings on

a diluted per share basis were $0.71 in the fourth quarter of 2004 as

compared to $0.10 in the fourth quarter of 2003.

Fiscal Year 2004 Financial Highlights

Revenues – Google reported revenues for calendar year 2004 of $3.189

billion, a 118% increase over the $1.466 billion reported for 2003.

Google saw growth throughout the year both in our domestic business and

internationally, both on Google owned sites and on the Google Network.

Specifically, revenues from Google owned sites increased 101% on a year

over year basis, from $792 million to $1.6 billion. The company

attributes the rapid growth to increased visits to its sites and to its

accumulated knowledge of how to more effectively and efficiently

monetize that traffic. Revenues from the Google Network grew 147% in

the year, from $629 million in 2003 to $1.6 billion in 2004. This

growth reflects growth in the number of partners in the network in both

the AdSense for Search and the AdSense for Content programs, as well as

improved monetization of those programs.

Income from Operations – On a GAAP basis (including the settlement

charge) our operating income in 2004 rose 87% on a year-over-year basis

to $640 million, representing a full year operating margin of 20.1%.

Excluding the effect of a third-quarter, 2004 non-cash, non-recurring

charge associated with a legal settlement, our operating income for the

full year 2004 increased 146% to $841 million, up from $342 million the

prior year. Again, excluding the aforementioned charge, our operating

margin for the full year rose to 26.4% from 23.4% the previous year.

Operating income as reported in both 2004 and 2003 was reduced by

significant non-cash stock-based compensation charges of $279 million

and $229 million respectively.

Net Income – Net income for the year 2004 rose to $399 million from

$106 million in 2003, an increase of 278%. Adjusting for the impact of

the third quarter 2004 settlement charge and for certain tax benefits,

net income totaled $406 million in 2004. On a GAAP basis, earnings per

share increased to $1.46 this year from $0.41 in 2003.

Cash Flow – Net cash provided by operating activities increased 147% to

$977 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2004 from $395

million in 2003. Free cash flow is an alternative measure of liquidity

to GAAP net cash provided by operating activities and is calculated as

operating cash flows less capital expenditures. Capital expenditures

were $319 million in the twelve months ended December 31, 2004 as

compared to $177 million in the twelve months ended 2003. Free cash

flow for the twelve months ended December 31, 2004 totaled $658 million

as compared to $219 million for the same period in 2003, an increase of

200%.

Adjusted EBITDA – Adjusted EBITDA is defined as EBITDA before the

non-cash stock-based compensation charge, the non-cash and

non-recurring settlement charge and in-process R&D. It is another

alternative measure of liquidity to GAAP net cash provided by operating

activities. Adjusted EBITDA increased to approximately $1.280 billion

in 2004, or 40% of revenues, from $638 million, or 44% of revenues, in

2003. For the fourth quarter of 2004, adjusted EBITDA increased to $425

million from $321 million in the third quarter. The reconciliation of

adjusted EBITDA to the GAAP measure of liquidity, net cash provided by

operating activities, is set forth at the back of this release.

Cash – As of December 31, 2004, Google had a cash, cash equivalents and

short-term investments balance of $2.132 billion.

On a worldwide basis, Google employed 3,021 full time employees as of

December 31, 2004, up from 2,668 as of September 30, 2004.

Webcast and conference call information

A live audio webcast of Google’s fourth-quarter earnings release call

will be available at http://investor.google.com/news.html. The call

begins today at 1:30 p.m. (PDT)/ 4:30 (EDT). This press release, the

financial tables as well as other supplemental information including

the reconciliations of certain non-GAAP measures to their nearest

comparable GAAP measures, are also available at that site. A replay of

the call will be available beginning at 7:30 PM EDT through midnight

Tuesday, February 15, by calling (888) 203-1112 in the United States or

(719) 457-0820 for calls from outside the United States. The required

confirmation code for the replay is 0676870.

Forward looking statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve

risks and uncertainties, including statements relating to the Google’s

market opportunity and future business prospects. Actual results may

differ materially from the results predicted and reported results

should not be considered as an indication of future performance.

Factors that could cause actual results to differ from the results

predicted are included in Google’s quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and

from time to time in other reports filed by Google with the Securities

and Exchange Commission.

About non-GAAP financial measures.

To supplement Google’s consolidated financial statements presented in

accordance with GAAP, Google uses non-GAAP measures of certain

financial performance and liquidity. These non-GAAP measures are

comprised of income from operations, net income and net income per

share before material non-recurring and other items, as well as free

cash flows and adjusted EBITDA. Google’s management believes that

income from operations before material non-recurring and other items

and net income before material non-recurring and other items provide

meaningful supplemental information regarding the company’s core

operating results because they exclude amounts that are not necessarily

related to those core results and are of a substantially non-recurring

nature. Google’s management believes that free cash flows and adjusted

EBITDA provide meaningful supplemental information regarding liquidity.

Google believes that both management and investors benefit from

referring to these non-GAAP financial measures in assessing the

performance of Google’s ongoing operations and liquidity and when

planning and forecasting future periods. These non-GAAP financial

measures also facilitate management’s internal comparisons to Google’s

historical operating results and liquidity.

Google computes its non-GAAP financial measures using the same

consistent method from quarter to quarter and year to year. The

accompanying tables have more details on the GAAP financial measures

that are most directly comparable to non-GAAP financial measures and

the related reconciliations between these financial measures.

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5 thoughts on “GOOG: A Billion Dollars Here, A Billion There

  1. Brian says:

    “personalize, localize, and internationalize”
    “personalize, localize, and internationalize”
    “personalize, localize, and internationalize”

    Pretty boring webcast on the large.

  2. Ng Wai Mun says:

    i need to get my hands on some google

  3. Keith Teare says:

    If you want to listen to a podcast of the earnings call check here EarningsCast.com

  4. Thinking about it, it’s actually not wonder that they are increasing revenues. Just put 50 people in the system that do nothing else than optimize adwords and adsense, and you get more revenue. You don’t need more sites, more traffic, nothing. Just optimization. And it doesn’t cost you anything more. If they pay CPM based on some partner sites than every optimization is 100% profit on their side. I should have thought about that earlier. :)

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