Instant View: Google misses Street target as costs climb

Reuters News
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Posted: Apr 14, 2011 4:31 PM

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Google Inc's quarterly earnings missed Wall Street's target by a tad as operating expenses climbed, sending its shares 5 percent lower.

Commentary:

COLIN GILLIS, ANALYST BGC PARTNERS,

"You got expenses growing faster than revenue and some people were caught by surprise by the willingness of the company to spend. But Larry Page has signaled pretty clearly that he is going to be driving up expenses. They gave a 10 percent raise across-the-board on January 1, and they hired a record 2,000 people."

"If the expenses are targeted and result in future revenue streams, then good for Larry. If not, that results in an undisciplined spending approach."

JORDAN ROHAN, ANALYST, STIFEL NICOLAUS

"Clearly the company is still in growth mode and for Google that means spending too. They're spending on stock compensation, on sales and marketing..., really they've hired 1,900 more people this quarter, which might be a new high. It's Google being Google, This is what they do.

"This plays into investors' insecurities about how Larry Page is going to run the company. We don't really know yet.

"Long term, this doesn't change my view of Google. When they feel good, they spend."

SANDEEP AGGARWAL, ANALYST, CARIS & CO

"They beat on the top line but missed on the bottom line.

"That is because they are hiring a lot of people. And at the same time, their display and mobile businesses are growing fast, but they are lower-profit-margin businesses. So that's hurting the bottom line."

(Reporting by Jim Finkle in Boston, Noel Randewich in San Francisco and Liana Baker in New York)