Only positive comments from CEO Eric Schmidt who led off his company’s earnings call by saying that Google (NSDQ: GOOG) had “performed well across the board” and by praising the company’s decision last quarter to once again ramp up its spending. “We’re back in business full blast,” he said, referring to the company’s strong quarterly results. Schmidt said Google would continue to invest in hiring (the company’s headcount was up for the first time in three quarters), technology, and in acquisitions. Some highlights:
— Mobile: No comments on the revenue being driven by the company’s mobile business but executives said they were seeing “strong growth there” as advertisers figured out “what kind of ads work on mobile devices” Schmidt also commented on Google’s relationship with Apple (NSDQ: AAPL), saying that as a former board member he had a “special spot for Apple in my heart” and that it was a “very well run company.” He acknowledged, however, that Google is a competitor in some areas but said the relationship between the two companies remains “stable.” According to recent reports, Apple is in talks with Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) to replace Google with Bing as the default search engine on the iPhone.
On the new Nexus One — which competes directly with the iPhone — Schmidt described the device as “really about a new way to buy a phone” and said it did not exclude more traditional models.
— China: Asked about yet another very hot topic — the company’s threat to withdraw from China — Schmidt didn’t say much new, although he did say that for now the company’s business there has not changed. “In a reasonably short time from now we’ll be making some changes there,” he said.
— Acquisitions: Google has been on a shopping spree, and Schmidt said that would continue. He said the company would continue on its pace to purchase one company each month, including “some big” ones but mostly “small ones.” He acknowledged that many of the company’s recent purchases — including its buy of VOIP startup Gizmo5 — were designed to add new talent to the company.
— YouTube: Oh, YouTube (where this call is being broadcast, by the way). No word on whether it’s profitable, but SVP Jonathan Rosenberg said it was “monetizing well” and other executives said it was now an “essential part” of any big ad campaign.