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Google Accidentally Reveals Revenue Prediction

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Google accidentally left in notes that discussed predictions of revenue for the next year in the Powerpoint for last week’s Analyst Day. As a result, Google had to file a Form 8-K disclosure report with the SEC.

Some quotes from the 8-K:

On March 2, 2006, Google Inc. posted its Analyst Day presentations on its Investor Relations website, http://investor.google.com/. The initial posting inadvertently contained certain annotated comments not intended to be presented at Analyst Day, including the following statements:

Our ads business projected to grow from $6bn this year to $9.5bn next year based purely on trends in traffic and monetization growth.

But strong competitors AdSense margins will be squeezed in 2006 and beyond”;

Execute well on our core ads projects to help us exceed the $9.5bn target (and backfill any AdSense partner loss)

In terms of estimating [stock-based compensation] charges for 2006 The amount of the charge related to awards issued prior to 2006 AND the new awards that are issued throughout 2006 The first part, the amount related to grants prior to 2006, is $342 mm.

Well, that is some interesting information. Obviously, Wall Street will now be looking to that $9.5 billion as a benchmark. Also the tough days ahead for the AdSense division is actually expected; I’ve noticed the shrinking AdSense margins in almost every quarterly report yet.

Google has stated that the notes were from a late 2005 internal presentation, that they were outdated and that the AdSense statements were inaccurate. Still, those notes were true when they were written, and represent the feelings of people at Google who would know what they were talking about.

There was some other stuff in the powerpoint of interest, and Greg Linden has done most of the work uncovering it. Google made references to GDrive online file storage and a project called “Lighthouse”. The only thing we know about Lighthouse that’s concrete is it has something to do with an “access list”. It has been suggested that Lighthouse might be related to social bookmarking, directory services, searching GDrive, a security application, but the most likely explanation from the PowerPoint is that Lighthouse is the interface to browse, search and access online file storage systems.

Google took down the Powerpoint, but it is mirrored here, but you can read the comments from all of the slides at this blog post. By the way, Googlers, in the future you should use the free Microsoft Office Remove Hidden Data add-in before you take any files out of the Google intranet.

Some links:
Mercury News
Techdirt
More by Greg Linden
Garett Rogers
Richard MacManus

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Nathan Weinberg writes the popular InsideGoogle blog, offering the latest news and insights about Google and search engines.

Visit the InsideGoogle blog.

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