July 18, 2008
Google Misses Earnings But Extends Their Hills Plaza Lease
Google might have missed their earnings yesterday, but they also renewed their Hills Plaza lease (through 2015). They’re obviously not going anywhere, but might this be a hint as to plans for local headcount growth (or not) over the next several (if not seven) years?
∙ Google Declines as Profit Trails Analysts' Estimates [Bloomberg]
∙ Google signs to stay in Hills Plaza to 2015 [Business Times]
First Published: July 18, 2008 9:15 AM
Comments from "Plugged In" Readers
Gosh, only a 35% increase in net profit. Headcount is the last thing GOOG is worrying about.
Posted by: anon at July 18, 2008 10:14 AM
at a PE of 28x earnings Google better hope that the last earnings announcement was a glitch, and not a trend. if growth continues to slow then its stock price becomes harder to justify. Shareholders are NOT happy with a growth stock that has slowing growth, especially when growth has been 'priced in' to the stock.
A lot of the headcount at Google is used to find avenues for growth. When google is growing at phenominal rates they are able to employ a lot of people doing things that may or may not ever pencil out (Google's version of R&D).
when a company stops growing it is then considered "mature". the staffing for mature companies is very different than those of growth companies. the salaries of mature companies are also very different. as an example: Microsoft as growth company compared to Microsoft as mature company.
so this could be a problem for the Googlaires, because significant percentage of their income is stock related, and because their headcount is growth related. both are harmed if the growth of Google slows.
The Google machine will continue to be strong for a long time. However, it has some very large hurdles. specifically, how do they stop being an advertising company and find profits elsewhere?
many of the Googlaires that I know have since left the company, since their prospects for huge payout aren't what they were. so they're jumping to the Facebooks-du-jour.
anyway, Google is a phenomenal company, but it faces hurdles. A falling stock price would not be great for a lot of Bay Areans.
Posted by: ex SF-er at July 18, 2008 10:39 AM
"Gosh, only a 35% increase in net profit. Headcount is the last thing GOOG is worrying about."
"The red flags raised after the bell Thursday included a dramatic slowdown in the company's hiring pace and Google Chairman Eric Schmidt's description of the economy as "challenging." Google's chief economist, Hal Varian, even participated in the company's conference call for the first time to discuss business conditions."
they're also cutting contractors.
Posted by: nonanon at July 18, 2008 10:39 AM
I think mnicrosoft is going to eat google's lunch over the enxt few years
Posted by: Spencer at July 18, 2008 11:34 AM
Did that article say their office has a slide from the 3rd to 2nd floor? lol.
Posted by: lolcat_94123 at July 18, 2008 11:55 AM
I thought it was a fireman's pole thingy ... anyway, glad to hear this Rincon Hill neighborhood office space will be this occupied. :) Now, what's in store for the space formerly occupied by Sharper Image on the ground floor at Spear and Folsom as well as the 6th floor offices?
Posted by: jamie at July 18, 2008 1:19 PM
The office is not very techy. It just feels all wrong. It still feels like the previous tenants (a law firm) are still there, despite how many primary colors and slides the Google people install to try and remain "fun."
Posted by: scurvy at July 18, 2008 2:19 PM
Sigh. Is it a matter of time when all the GOOGs will be joining the rest of the people who work (or worked) for former Silicon Valley high flyers? If so, who will be buying these multi-million dollar homes?
It is never a good idea to miss Wall Street numbers. Those guys don't like that stuff. It doesn't matter what type of profit you post...never, ever miss Wall Street numbers.
Hopefully, it is just a guilch and next quarter they make up for it....
Posted by: chuck at July 18, 2008 6:14 PM