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Google revenues top $50 billion but fortunes differ for the Nexus 7 and Motorola

by Doug Drinkwater

January 23 2013

Google revenues hit $50 billion in Q4 of last year
Google revenues hit $50 billion in Q4 of last year

A strong fourth-quarter helped Google hit a record $50 billion in annual revenue for 2012, but there were contrasting fortunes for the Nexus 7, Google Play, Motorola and online advertising.

“We ended 2012 with a strong quarter,” said Google co-founder and CEO Larry Page, in the earnings call.

“Revenues were up 36% year-on-year and 8% quarter-on-quarter. And we hit $50 billion in revenues for the first time – not a bad achievement in just a decade and a half.”

Google announced that revenues for the quarter increased by 36% year-on-year (YoY) to reach $14.42 billion, while profits rose 6.7% YoY to hit $2.89 billion. Google earnings also increased, jumping up by 10% to $10.74 billion.

The search giant confirmed that 67% of its total revenues came from Google’s own website, an 18% increase from the previous year, with total ad revenue jumping up by 19%, but there was both good and bad news for the company.

Paid clicks increased 24% YoY and 9% quarter-on-quarter (QoQ), but the cost per click (CPC), which measures how much advertisers are willing to traffic, declined for a fifth consecutive quarter by dropping 6% from last year. If this was a possible sign of the proliferation of Android and other mobile devices, Larry Page remained unconcerned.

"I focus mostly on our products and assume usage will follow great products," Page said in the earnings call. "CPCs will improve as these devices are improving.

Page went onto add that digital content on Google Play had been “on fire”, said that Google Maps being back on iOS had been a hit and, in a possible dig at Apple’s iPad mini, said that the Nexus 7 tablet continues to “define the seven-inch tablet category”.

Things appear less rosy for Google when it comes to Motorola Mobility however, with the search giant having spent considerable time and effort shedding unwanted company assets since it completed the $12.5 billion acquisition early last year.

The firm reached $1.51 billion with an operating loss of $353 million for the quarter but Google’s chief financial officer Patrick Pichette said that the firm has “12 to 18 months of product pipeline it is still working through” at the handset maker.

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