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Google's Q4 earnings miss expectations despite strong Nexus 5, Chromecast sales

Likely due to growing Motorola losses
Fri Jan 31 2014, 09:52
Google logo (Robert Scoble Flickr)

INTERNET GIANT Google's fourth quarter earnings fell slightly short of analyst expectations on Thursday, despite the firm posting strong Nexus 5, Chromecast and Google Play sales. 

Wall Street had expected Google to post $16.75bn in revenue and earnings of $12.26 a share, and while the firm posted $16.86bn in revenue, it missed expectations slightly with earnings of $12.01 a share. Still, Google boasts that this shows a 17 percent year on year increase, with the firm having posted $14.4bn in revenue in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Google likely fell short of expectations in part due to Motorola, but with the firm having offloaded the subsidary onto Lenovo yesterday, it will be for the last time. For the fourth quarter of 2013, Google admitted that Motorola loss was $384m, up from the $248m it lost in the prior quarter.

It's not all bad news, though. During its earnings call on Thursday, Google boasted that for the first time it's cash flow wasn't driven predominantly by ad sales, revealing that it saw strong Google Play, Nexus 5 and Chromecast sales during the holiday season. The firm didn't give any sales figures, but noted that the Chromecast was its best selling product during the fourth quarter.

Google CFO Patrick Pichette said, "Play hardware sales drove a big chunk of quarter-over-quarter growth. Nexus 5 was very strong for us, and the Chromecast was a best seller all quarter."

If rumours are to be believed, this could be both the first and last time that Google boasts of strong quarterly Nexus sales. Russian blogger Eldar Murtazin has claimed that the Nexus 5 will be the last smartphone to fall under the Nexus brand, with Google Play edition smartphones set to replace it. 

Google didn't reveal any details on Chromebook revenues, saying that most of these are sold outside the Google Play store. 

Google CEO Larry Page said, "We ended 2013 with another great quarter of momentum and growth. Google's standalone revenue was up 22 [percent] year on year, at $15.7bn.

"We made great progress across a wide range of product improvements and business goals. I'm also very excited about improving people's lives even more with continued hard work on our user experiences." µ


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