Google Puts Analysts’ Targets, Recession In Rearview Mirror

    October 15, 2009

Experts had high expectations heading into Google’s third quarter earnings report, but that was no problem for the search giant as it beat estimates in almost every way.  Google’s stock is now heading up in after-hours trading. 

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The consensus was that Google would bring in something like $4.24 billion in terms of net revenue.  It posted $4.38 billion, instead.  An even bigger gap was then evident in terms of non-GAAP EPS, with Google reporting $5.89 instead of $5.42.  And operating expenses went down by a noticeable amount on a year-over-year basis, drifting from $1.72 billion (or 31 percent of revenues) to $1.64 billion (or 28 percent of revenues). 

"Google had a strong quarter – we saw 7% year-over-year revenue growth despite the tough economic conditions," summarized Eric Schmidt in a statement.  "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."

Google would seem to have plenty of financial freedom to do so, too, since it reported free cash flow of $2.54 billion and cash, cash equivalents, and short-term marketable securities amounting to $22.0 billion.

All in all, this makes for another very impressive quarter for Google.  Its stock is up 3.19 percent at the moment as a result.