For much of this year, the buzz around Google Inc has been all about the flurry of new initiatives at the No. 1 Internet search company, from its YouTube video sharing site, to its new software for office workers, to its forays into television, radio and newspaper advertising.
On Thursday, Google executives sought to change the focus.
The company said that nearly three of every four Googlers, as the firm's workers call themselves, remain focused on the business that turned Google into a money-minting Internet powerhouse: search and online advertising.
And it is that business, executives said, that delivered a surge in Google's profits during the first three months of the year, as the company continued to outpace rivals like Microsoft Corp and Yahoo Inc.
"We are ecstatic about our financial results this past quarter," said Google chief executive Eric Schmidt during a conference call.
Google said first-quarter profit rose 69 percent to US$1 billion, or US$3.18 a share, up from US$592.3 million, or US$1.95 a share, in the same period a year ago. The results topped analysts' expectations, sending Google's shares up more than 3 percent in after-hours trading.
Schmidt predicted that search and advertising would continue to be the main source of profits for the foreseeable future.
"The core business is search and ads," Schmidt said. "We are still at the beginning of that business. It is a huge business, and we have a lot of room to grow."
For example, Schmidt said that just as in previous quarters, the company had devoted significant resources to continuing to perfect the art of linking search results with ads that are tailored to users' interests. Since Google gets paid when users click on an ad, those efforts translate into higher profitability.
"We are showing fewer ads and those ads are worth more because they are better targeted," Schmidt said.
Overall quarterly revenue was US$3.66 billion, up from US$2.25 billion a year ago. Excluding commissions paid to marketing partners, revenue was US$2.53 billion, compared with US$1.53 billion a year earlier.
Excluding certain expenses, like stock-based compensation, profits were US$3.68 a share, though analysts noted that without a benefit resulting from a change in tax rates, the figure would have been US$3.50. On that basis, analysts polled by Thomson Financial had expected Google to earn US$3.30 a share and report revenue, without the marketing commissions, of US$2.5 billion.
"Google has been able to deliver amazing profitability given its enormous investments in human resources and capital equipment," said Jordan Rohan, an analyst with RBC Capital Markets.
Google said its overseas business was particularly strong. Revenue from outside the US was US$1.7 billion, or 47 percent of the total.
Google's strong growth stands in sharp contrast to that of Yahoo, which earlier this week announced that sales had increased 7 percent from the year-ago quarter, while profits dropped 11 percent.
The domestically designed Teng Yun 2 drone passed development milestones over the weekend, flying for more than 10 hours straight and circling Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ), in the longest flight of an indigenous uncrewed combat aerial vehicle. Developed by the Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology, the Teng Yun 2, or “Cloud Rider” (騰雲二型), recorded its longest flight yet over the weekend, after a three-hour test flight last month, followed by five and seven-hour stretches in the air. The Teng Yun 2 No. 1812 departed from Chiashan Air Base in Hualien County at 6:46pm on Saturday and flew on a
A slew of new measures are to take effect on Friday, including nationwide bring-your-own-cup discounts. The new rule requires chain beverage shops to offer discounts of at least NT$5 (US$0.17) to customers who bring their own cups, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has said. The policy would apply to more than 50,000 chain retail locations, including beverage shops, convenience stores, fast-food restaurants and supermarkets. It aims to cut down on waste from single-use plastic cups, more than 2.2 billion of which were used in Taiwan in 2020, the agency said. For convenience, the EPA said it has asked retailers to display signs stating how
TIMING: 'The CHIPS Act funding is crucial for us. In other words, if the act’s passage is delayed for too long, we will certainly need to adjust,’ chairwoman Doris Hsu said GlobalWafers Co (環球晶圓) plans to start construction on a US$5 billion wafer fabrication facility in Texas in November, after passage of the US$52 billion Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) for America Act. The fab would be the largest of its kind in the US and one of the largest in the world, with a monthly capacity of 1.2 million wafers, GlobalWafers said, adding that the investment would be the first new fab in the US in more than 20 years and critical to closing a semiconductor supply chain gap. The world’s No. 3 silicon wafer supplier said the project, which
COUNTERING CHINA: ‘When democracies demonstrate what we can do ... I have no doubt that we’ll win that competition every time,’ US President Joe Biden said US President Joe Biden rebooted his effort to counter China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) after an earlier campaign faltered, enlisting the support of G7 leaders at their summit in Germany. The Build Back Better World initiative, named after Biden’s domestic spending and climate agenda, struggled to get off the ground because not enough G7 partners contributed financially when it was unveiled a year ago, people familiar with its lack of progress said. “When democracies demonstrate what we can do — all that we have to offer — I have no doubt that we’ll win that competition every time,” Biden said during