RealTime IT News

Google Shows Why It Leads The Pack

Google  proved why it's called the search king with fourth quarter and year-end results. Profits almost tripled and revenues jumped by 67 percent.

For the fourth quarter ending Dec. 31, 2006, Google's net profit was $1.03 billion, about 2.7 times more than its net profit of $372 million during the same quarter in 2005. Earnings per share were $3.29 compared to EPS of $1.22 for the fourth quarter of 2005.

"What is the key to our success," CEO Eric Schmidt asked during a conference call to discuss results. "I think it's search. We're getting better and better across the globe."

Revenues in the fourth quarter of 2006 soared to $3.21 billion, up 67 percent compared to revenues of $1.9 billion for the fourth quarter of 2005.

Revenue from Google-owned sites generated about 62 percent of the sales pie at $1.98 billion. That's an 80 percent jump over the same measure for the fourth quarter of 2005.

Partner sites that take part in Google's AdSense program helped rake in about 37 percent of sales, or $1.20 billion for the quarter, up by 50 percent from Q4 2005. Paid clicks, including clicks related to ad served on Google sites and AdSense partners, increased by about 61 percent over the fourth quarter of 2005, Google said.

Look for Google to keep pushing its Checkout payment service, which came on strong and helped contribute to more click-throughs on customers' ads, Google executives said on the call. Also, mobile advertising is expected to take off with programs such as Google's deal to offer mobile videos via its YouTube division.

As for plans for the white-hot video sharing site Google bought for $1.6 billion last year, co-founder Larry Page said Google is taking its time on integrating the site in order to keep the YouTube name in the public eye. "I think it's likely over time we'll continue to have both Google and YouTube branding."

Many investors were poised to sell on the news, as the tradition sometimes turns. Shares of Google had moved down by 1.4 percent to $494 in after-hours trading.