Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) released its earnings report today for the first quarter of 2011. The company posted earnings per share of $8.75 and showed revenues of $10.65 billion for the period. The annoncement was positively viewed by investors and analysts alike who see Google as a solid investment looking forward. Analysts had expected the company to earn $8.51 per share in the period and take in $8.15 billion in revenues . The company posted disappointing results in the fourth quarter of 2011 with both earnings and revenue below their expected values. The company blamed that on its CPC or Cost Per Click, a figure the firm is more and more concerned about in recent years. It is easy to as a user but impossible as an investor to forget that the vast majority of the company’s revenue comes from its online advertising and not from its more visible products. In the announcement the board of he company said it had approved a dividend to be given to shareholders following Apple’s similar move earlier this year.
As the company has become more streamlined and business-like in recent years, particularly since Larry Page took the reigns as the company’s CEO, it has become more publicly concerned with figures like its CPC rather than announcing developments in projects such as its Google + social network which underwent a major redesign yesterday. Many have been disappointed at the company’s recent public image which has seen many challenges resulting from privacy issues and the expectation of a continuation of the fun Google that the company seemed to have been in the past. Investors have not been particularly consoled by the more business like approach as the company’s products still face many challenges despite being the market leader in mobile, mail and search as well as mapping and other areas.
Those products don’t bring in any revenue apart from their links to online advertisements which is the firm’s bread and butter. The company has seen its stock price volatile and almost stagnant in recent times as the price has drifted up and down in a hundred dollar range, peaking at $660. The stock has not seen any major moves and the market appears almost indecisive about the company. The company’s poor fourth quarter of 2011 was blamed on foreign exchange rates by management though such weakness to exchange rates, if accurate, could be a bigger downside risk for the company as the US continues to struggle with huge debt. The company is in the midst of a rocky transitional period and is facing huge competition from Apple and Facebook, both of which it actively competes against, for tech dominance.