Many Wall Street analysts and Google watchers were anticipating that Google might “come down to Earth” with its Q3 earnings today, given the turmoil in the US economy. But in fact the company soundly beat expectations and posted very healthy revenues, driven by Google’s dominance of the only strong segment of online advertising — search.
Google reported $5.54 billion in revenue for Q3, which represented a 31 percent increase over the same period last year. Net income was more than $1.5 billion. Below are some highlights from the earnings conference call slide show.
International revenues exceeded US revenues slightly for the first time, pointing to the weakness in the US economy. And Google properties delivered twice as much growth (34 percent) as the Google network (15 percent). After Google released its earnings report, company shares climbed almost 7 percent in after-hours trading.
The question of whether Google can sustain growth in the quarters to come remains to be seen; Q4 and Q1 2009 promise to be much weaker. Yet, so far, search (and Google with it) has proven recession resistant, if not “recession proof.”