Google continues to boom in third quarter

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Google continues to grow revenue at a healthy clip, reporting an increase of almost 60 percent in the third quarter compared to the same period last year.

Third-quarter revenue for the search giant reached $4.23 billion, up 57 percent over the same quarter last year.

Net income for the quarter that ended Sept. 30 was $1.07 billion using generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), compared to $733 million in the same quarter last year. On a non-GAAP basis, net income reached $1.24 billion in the third quarter

Earnings per share on a non-GAAP basis were $3.91, beating analysts consensus as polled by First Call, which was $3.78.

Google’s core search advertising business, as well as expansion of services into international markets drove growth, Google said. Revenue from outside of the U.S. was $2.03 billion, representing 48 percent of revenue in the quarter. That compares with 44 percent of revenue coming from international markets in the same quarter last year.

Executives speaking during a conference call to discuss the earnings pointed to a number of areas where they expect to see continued growth, including mobile. The use of Google’s mobile services, which include search, maps and YouTube, is growing, with some services doing particularly well in certain areas such as Japan and Korea, said Larry Page, co-founder and president of products at Google.

Many of the leading online services providers, including Google, Yahoo and Microsoft, have been jostling for a lead position in the emerging mobile Internet market. So far, none has emerged as a clear leader, but Google thinks that’s about to change. “There’s some evidence that we’re becoming a leading mobile application provider, at least in certain segments,” said Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google.

The executives did not reveal any decisions about the company’s participation in the upcoming U.S. 700MHz wireless spectrum auction or information on the rumored Google phone. Google is happy with the provisions the Federal Communications Commission put on the auction that will require auction winners to keep some of the spectrum open, Page said. But he wouldn’t say whether Google had decided to bid. “We have many options available to us as a company in terms of spectrum and connectivity for people. I don’t think we feel like there’s a desperate need for us to have to bid to win,” Page said.

Likewise, the company doesn’t have to build mobile phone software or hardware to be successful in the mobile market, said Sergey Brin, co-founder and president of technology at Google. The company hasn’t commented on rampant speculation that it is developing a mobile phone or software for phones.

During the conference call, Google also said it has high hopes for its new Gadget Ads capability. The technology allows advertisers to embed functions within their ads. For example, Nissan is running an advertisement that lets users type their ZIP code into the ad to get the local traffic report. Airlines are allowing users to enter a flight route and click on the ad to find results.

The search giant is also seeing growth in its Google Apps suite. Institutions including the University of Phoenix and Northwestern University are offering Google Apps to students. New capabilities such as presentations are helping to round out the package, Brin said.

This story, "Google continues to boom in third quarter" was originally published by PCWorld.

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