Google profits, revenues rocket

MOUNTAIN VIEW, California, July 20, 2006 (AFP) – Internet giant Google reported Thursday its second-quarter earnings more than doubled as online advertising revenues rocketed.

The Internet search leader said its net profit for the April-June period came to 721 million dollars, compared to 343 million dollars in the same quarter of 2005.

The figure translated into earnings per share of 2.33 dollars, well ahead of Wall Street’s target of 2.22 dollars.

Revenue surged 78 percent to 2.46 billion dollars in the quarter as Google entrenched its dominance of Internet searches and the online advertisers they attract.

"Google grew at an impressive pace during a seasonally slower quarter," company chief executive Eric Schmidt said in a statement.

"We continue to deliver valuable new products and services to users around the world through our partnerships and investments in our business," he said.

"Our strong performance results from our clear focus on increasing the quality of user experience, particularly in search and ads."

Google’s stellar performance came after its leading rival Yahoo Tuesday unveiled quarterly earnings that were merely in line with analyst forecasts.

Combined with Yahoo’s announcement that it was delaying the launch of its much-touted new advertising platform, the earnings statement sent the company’s share price plummeting nearly 22 percent.

Google, in contrast, remains a darling of investors and Wall Street. Its share price was up 1.26 percent at 4.88 dollars in after-hours trading Thursday following its earnings release.

The search titan said that in the quarter to June, revenues from Google-owned sites surged 94 percent to 1.43 billion dollars.

Sales from Google’s partner sites generated through its popular "AdSense" program rose 58 percent to 997 million dollars.

The group does not give financial forecasts, but said its next investments would focus on computing infrastructure including servers, networking equipment and data centers, as well as property and facilities at its Mountain View base.