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Friday, March 3rd, 2006

Google has Matured says Analysts – No More Sudden Growth Spurts

 

On Thursday March 2, Google held its second annual investor analyst day at its Mountain View California headquarters. In sharp contrast to last year’s event, which saw the keynote presentation delivered by Head Cafeteria Chef, Charlie Ayers, Google executives appeared to be taking the day much more seriously. This year, the investor focused session was hosted by George Reyes, Google’s Chief Financial Officer.

The Analysts day was timely. Last week saw Google stock falling quickly, down about 20% from its highest point this year, after Reyes commented on slowing revenue growth in the search advertising sector. As CEO Eric Schmidt took the podium to dispel any notions that Google was hitting a slump, Google share prices started to rise, closing at $376.45 (up 3.2% over the day).

Schmidt’s goal was to assure investors that Google continues to see and pursue several avenues of opportunity. Citing AdWords delivered over cell phones, its increased presence in print and radio advertising, and Google’s interest in exploring TV ad-buying, Schmidt ended his presentation suggesting Google is going to be a $100Billion company by the end of 2010.

Google, incidentally, already enjoys a market cap of over $100 Billion and sees approximately $6 Billion per year in revenues. “I’ll give you the choice of whether that is $100 billion in market cap or revenue,” Schmidt said, teasing his audience.

Other Google executives participated in the day-long analyst meeting. Marissa Meyer fielded questions about Google’s rivalry with Microsoft, dismissing MSN’s claims that their search engine is as relevant as Google’s. “The gap with the competition is as large as it ever has been”, said Meyers.

Google brags about having one of the most cost-effective, scalable global networks. This claim was reiterated by Research and Engineering VP, Alan Eustace who suggested Google has a three to five year lead on its competition. “We don’t think our competitors can deploy systems cheaper, faster or at scale,” he said. “That will give us a two, three, five-year lead.”

At the end of the analyst day, the gospel according to Google was simple. Google is growing both internally and internationally. They are developing and introducing new products at a rapid rate. Revenues are up quarter after quarter, as measured in real dollar terms and there appears to be no end to growth potential.


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