Friday, October 17, 2008
Google Inc., owner of the most popular Internet search engine, said third-quarter profit climbed 26 percent as more customers used Web search ads to spur sales in a slowing economy, sending the shares higher.
Net income rose to $1.35 billion, or $4.24 a share, from $1.07 billion, or $3.38, a year earlier, the company said today in a statement. Leaving out costs such as stock-based compensation, profit was $4.92 a share, beating the $4.75 average estimate of analysts in a Bloomberg survey.
Advertisers are shifting budgets away from TV and print media toward ads that run alongside search listings, targeting online shoppers. The Internet will account for 8.7 percent of the $284 billion in U.S. ad spending this year, up from 7.2 percent in 2007, according to Barclays Capital.
``This was exactly the kind of shot in the arm that investors need,'' said Jeff Lindsay, an analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. in New York. ``People lost a lot of faith in the Internet, but this is exactly what the doctor ordered.''
Excluding revenue passed on to partner sites, sales expanded to $4.04 billion, compared with the $4.05 billion average estimate. Total revenue climbed 31 percent to $5.54 billion.
Google, based in Mountain View, California, rose $21.39, or 6.1 percent, to $374.41 in extended trading after closing at $353.02 on the Nasdaq Stock Market. The shares have dropped 49 percent this year.
``We are realistic about the poor state of the global economy, but it's Google, so we'll manage accordingly,'' Chief Financial Officer Patrick Pichette said today in an interview. ``We had a good third quarter, with strong traffic and revenue growth.''