Defying the skeptics who fretted about a slowdown in paid clicks, they turned in a solid beat: Google (NSDQ: GOOG) has reported Q1 revenue of $3.7 billion ex-TAC, ahead of the $3.61 consensus estimates. Earnings of $4.84 per share easily exceeded analyst estimates, and shares are up 12 percent after hours, back over the $500 mark for the first time since late February. Not pulling out TAC, revenue came to $5.2 billion, about 44 percent higher than in the year-ago period. Some key highlights:
— International revs of $2.65 billion represented 51 percent of the total, compared to 47 percent in the year-ago period.
— Google’s own site had revenue of $3.4 billion, 66 percent of the total. Network partners, via the AdSense program, made up the other third.
— On what has become Google’s most closely scrutinized metric: “Aggregate paid clicks, which include clicks related to ads served on Google sites and the sites of our AdSense partners, increased approximately 20% over the first quarter of 2007 and approximately 4% over the fourth quarter of 2007.”
— The company added 2,351 employees in the quarter, 1500 of which came from DoubleClick (DoubleClick revenue was immaterial to the quarter).
— Capital expenditures came to $842 million in the quarter, which the company attributed to IT infrastructure demands. All these new ventures they’re building out — cloud computing and whatnot — they come at a cost.