Google’s growth spurt…

February 18, 2008

images-3.jpegOn Friday, four Dow 30 companies filed their 10-Ks — Honeywell (HON), Boeing (BA), Alcoa (AA), and 3M (MMM) — and I’m still poking around through them. Up until 3M filed at 5:23 on Friday, it seemed as if there was a relationship between the size of the filing and the proximity to a long holiday weekend. But then 3M’s filing, which was a relatively modest 101 pages (compared to Alcoa’s 305-page filing which came in two minutes earlier at 5:21) broke the trend.

Still, it was Google’s (GOOG) 10-K filed at 5:20 (and 114 pages) that I spent the most time with over the weekend. Paid Content does a nice job at getting the basics. But you really need to use something like 10K Wizard’s Compare Wizard tool to get to the really good stuff, since after all, it’s the changes that are always the most interesting. So here’s what I found:

–There was a huge increase in Google’s international focus in 2007. At the end of 2006, they were indexing 11 languages and serving 34 international audiences. A year later, it was up to 18 and 45, respectively. During 2007, international revenues grew to 48% from 43% a year earlier. Among the new languages are Arabic and Chinese.

–Over the past year, the company has opened 20 new offices, both in the U.S. and overseas. Based on the filing, new offices in the U.S. are in Austin, Birmingham, Mi., Cambridge, Ma. (relocated from Boston), Kirkland, Wa. and San Francisco. The only new office outside the U.S. appears to be in the United Arab Emirates.

–The company has also expanded its Mountain View offices by nearly 500,000 square-feet growing to 1.4 million square feet in 2007, from 953,000 at the end of 2006. The filing also disclosed for the first time that the company owns 83 additional acres in Mountain View “to accommodate anticipated future growth”.

–The filing listed 11 new subsidiaries in 2007. The bulk of them were acquisitions like AdScape, Feedburner, GrandCentral, and Postini. But also on the list was Google Airwaves and Google Spectrum Investments.

–Google’s Transferable Stock Option program, which we’ve footnoted here and here was popular in both October and November, but not in December, according to a chart at the bottom of p.36 in the filing which shows that employees sold $161 million worth of Google stock under the program in October and November. It’s not clear from the filing why there’s no numbers for December, or whether it had anything to do with the relatively flat price for Google shares during December. Exercise prices averaged $262 a share in October and $330 in November.

By the way, if you didn’t catch this story over the weekend in the WSJ about someone impersonating an analyst, it’s worth a read. While it’s wrong to claim to be someone else, the staid and highly scripted nature of those calls can certainly use some shaking up.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.