Google: Earnings Beat, ‘Effective’ Stock Split

by Tom Taulli | April 12, 2012 4:47 pm

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG[1]) announced first-quarter earnings after the bell Thursday — but the real news was focused on much smaller numbers. Namely, “2” and “1.”

Profits basically were in line with Wall Street expectations. Adjusted earnings came to $10.08 per share, which was above the consensus estimate of $9.65. However, the top line was a bit light at $8.14 billion, vs. estimates for $8.15 billion.

Google’s real news was the announcement of a stock split — of sorts. The company said Thursday that it will create a new class of nonvoting stock. For current shareholders, a new share will be issued for every existing one, “effectively” resulting in a 2-for-1 stock split.

So why go through this convoluted process rather than an outright 2-for-1? It comes down to the founders keeping voting control of the company. They believe a “founder-led” management structure is best for long-term results.

The conference call also should be interesting. Investors definitely will want to get more color on the acquisition of Motorola, trends with cost per clicks (the revenue for the ad business) and progress on the G+ social network.

GOOG stock was slightly up in after-market trading.

Tom Taulli runs the InvestorPlace blog IPO Playbook[2], a site dedicated to the hottest news and rumors about initial public offerings. He also is the author of “The Complete M&A Handbook”[3], “All About Short Selling”[4] and “All About Commodities.”[5] Follow him on Twitter at @ttaulli[6] or reach him via email[7]. As of this writing, he did not own a position in any of the aforementioned securities.

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