Google's Black Friday

"Yesterday was Thursday, Thursday
Today is Friday, Friday
We we we so excited
We so excited
We going to have a ball today."
--  
"Friday" by Rebecca Black

Google (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) is starting to seem a lot like Rebecca Black's notorious viral video that has amassed more than 100 million views on Google's own YouTube.

Both are attracting attention for all of the wrong reasons these days. Black's cheesy video of Patrice Wilson's bubblegum pop anthem has more critics than fans. The same can probably be said of the world's leading search engine as antitrust regulators and frustrated shareholders take a battering ram to Big G.

Last night's quarterly report isn't helping.

Google posted a lower-than-expected profit as bubbling costs ate into its otherwise impressive 27% top-line spurt.

Earnings grew nearly 20% to $8.08 a share, short of the $8.13 a share that Wall Street was targeting.

Why isn't net income keeping pace with revenue growth in this seemingly scalable model? The income statement reveals all. R&D costs soared 50% as Google invests in growth initiatives outside of its paid search stronghold. Sales and marketing costs spiked 69% -- with G&A expenses climbing 44% -- as the dot-com giant ramped up its workforce and initiated pay increases to keep its Googlers from bolting to new dot-com darlings Facebook or Twitter.

Pundits will argue that Google missed its bottom-line number, but that was never the company's handiwork. The online behemoth doesn't provide guidance, and it has been telegraphing its desire to fortify its payroll and make a bigger splash in social stickiness for a long time.

In time, cynics may come to appreciate the strong revenue growth for a company of Google's girth. It's quite the feat, especially since it all but bequeathed China to Baidu (Nasdaq: BIDU  ) last year and since the latest batch of Internet traffic reports find Microsoft's (Nasdaq: MSFT  ) Bing gaining market share at Google's expense.

Google came through with an 18% uptick in paid clicks, and each of those leads found advertisers paying an average of 8% more than they did a year ago. This should bode well for when Microsoft and Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO  ) report next week -- especially in Yahoo!'s case, where costs are going in the other direction after inking its search partnership with Bing.

So go ahead and hate on Google the way you ranted about Black's "Friday" a few weeks ago. The stock opened 6% lower on the mixed showing. I would rather see Google miss on the bottom than the top because at least that's the one end of its income statement that it can control.

What would Black think about the opportunity to buy into a cheaper Google that is still growing at an envious clip?

We we we so excited. 

What did you think of Google's report? What do you think of Rebecca Black? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.

Google and Microsoft are Motley Fool Inside Value recommendations. Baidu and Google are Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendations. Yahoo! is a Motley Fool Global Gains pick. Motley Fool Options has recommended a diagonal call position on Microsoft. The Fool owns shares of Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo!. Alpha Newsletter Account, LLC owns shares of Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz isn't calling for a search engine search party, but he may as well. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.


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Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On April 15, 2011, at 2:54 PM, IdahoAve wrote:

    im buying more goog, can't believe it continues to get less expensive, what a dream.

  • Report this Comment On April 15, 2011, at 5:26 PM, TMFBoiseKen wrote:

    I'm with IdahoAve -- I think this is a good place to add more google to the stack. They have so many little businesses and are relevant to my everyday online experience.

    I wouldn't be surprised to see it drift lower -- can you imagine the opportunity to snag shares lower than $500?

    Watch out for 2013 when people will want to buy my shares at $800+ -- and no, you can't have them at that that price either.

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