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Friday, January 31, 2014

Google Q4 2013 earnings: Play Store drives revenue while Motorola keeps losing

We knew that Google was planning to announce its Q4 2013 earnings today, and the numbers are in. The report is a bit mixed for Google which hit its revenue estimates for the quarter, but missed on earnings per share. Even when you dive into the numbers more it can be an up (Google Play) and down (Motorola) ride.

To be fair, everyone expected to see another quarterly loss for Motorola, which posted $384 million in the red for the quarter. That rounds out a year where Motorola lost $271 million, $342 million, and $248 million for the previous three quarters, which adds up to a 2013 total loss of $1.245 billion for Google'ssoon-to-be ex-hardware division. Although, it should be noted that 2013 was a bit better for Motorola, which contributed $1.113 billion in losses for Google in less than three quarters of operation in 2012. No doubt, Google won't be too sad to see those numbers removed from future earnings reports. 
The big surprise for Google in Q4 2013 was that revenue growth wasn't driven by advertising for once, but from Google Play sales. Google's Chief Financial Officer Patrick Pichette gave quite a bit of credit to the Play Store saying that "revenue growth was driven by content and app sales" and that the strong demand for the Nexus 5 and Chromecast played a big part in pushing quarter-over-quarter growth. We've seen in various unofficial metrics that the Play Store revenue has been growing rapidly this past year, and this report serves as the official proof. 
The official earnings call started about 30 minutes ago if you want to listen in here:
source: Google

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