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Mighty Google Misses

Google, which does not give guidance, missed both Wall Street’s top and bottom expectations for its December quarter by a hair and the punters immediately turned vicious pounding it down around 50 bucks after-hours.

Consensus demanded non-GAAP earnings of $4.44 on revenues of $3.45 billion. Google came in with $4.43 on revenues $3.39 billion.

Those revenues figures, which are what Wall Street uses, are net of what’s called TAC, Google’s traffic acquisition costs, the money it pays its partners, which it this case amounted $1.44 billion or 30% of its ad revenues.

Google's GAAP revenues were $4.83 billion, up 51% year-over-year and up 14% sequentially. Its GAAP earnings were up 17% to $1.21 billion, or $3.79 a share.

Seemingly on the bright side consumer ad clicks were up 30% year-over-year, 9% sequentially though Comscore says US clicks were down 7% between November and December, a statistic that looks indicative of a slowing American economy.

Before tonight’s sell-off Google was wending its way back from a hideous January that had sheared $150 off its stock price. It was trading around $515 after-hours.

In a canned statement CEO Eric Schmidt said “We’re very pleased with our performance this quarter. It reflects strong momentum in our core business, growing receptivity to our new business initiatives and improved discipline in managing our operating expenses.”


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