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Taxes Sink Google Earnings

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Google looked the Wall Street suits in the eye and said, “we nearly doubled our earnings in the fourth quarter. Profit was up 82 percent. Revenue was up 86 percent. In all, we pulled in $1.29 billion. What do you think?” The Wall Streets suits scowled all in a row and shouted in unison, “You stink!”

Google shares plummeted around $55 per share, or 12.77 percent, to $377.40 in the hours after the up-until-now Wall Street darling released its fourth quarter earnings statement.

That translates to a $20 billion drop in Google’s overall market value, as the earnings-per-share statement missed Wall Street estimates by 22 cents per share. Analysts were looking for a number more like $1.37 billion in sales.

The culprit, according to Google, was unexpected tax hikes (mainly from other countries) that raised Google’s projected tax rate from 30 percent to 41.8 percent. If tax rates had been at levels predicted, Google stock would have continued its pattern of exceeding analyst predictions, reporting $1.78 earnings per share rather than $1.54.

The strengthening dollar also contributed to the missed estimates, said Google chief financial officer George Reyes, as currency conversion rates also dropped the search company’s overseas income.

Taxes Sink Google Earnings
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