Google just announced its Q1 2012 earnings before the live call set to start at 4:30 p.m. EST.

The Mountain View-based Company is reporting revenues are up 24 percent year-over-year. Revenue is at $10.65 billion, and net income is at $2.9 billion for the quarter. Sites owned by Google generated $7.31 billion in revenue, which accounts for 69 percent of total revenues. International revenues for the company totaled $5.77 billion (or 54 percent) of total revenue.

As of today, Google has $49.3 billion in cash or cash equivalents. The company also had 32,467 full-time employees at the end of 2011.

You can read the full press release after the break:

Press Release:

–April 12, 2012 – Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) today announced financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2012.

“Google had another great quarter with revenues up 24% year on year,” said Larry Page, CEO of Google.  “We also saw tremendous momentum from the big bets we’ve made in products like Android, Chrome and YouTube. We are still at the very early stages of what technology can do to improve people’s lives and we have enormous opportunities ahead.  It is a very exciting time to be at Google.”

Google announced today that its Board of Directors unanimously approved a stock dividend proposal designed to preserve the corporate structure that has allowed Google to remain focused on the long term. More information is available on our Investor Relations site, including a letter from our founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin explaining the proposal, and in our forthcoming proxy statement.

Q1 Financial Summary

Google reported revenues of $10.65 billion for the quarter ended March 31, 2012, an increase of 24% compared to the first quarter of 2011. Google reports its revenues, consistent with GAAP, on a gross basis without deducting traffic acquisition costs (TAC). In the first quarter of 2012, TAC totaled $2.51 billion, or 25% of advertising revenues.

Google reports operating income, operating margin, net income, and earnings per share (EPS) on a GAAP and non-GAAP basis. The non-GAAP measures, as well as free cash flow, an alternative non-GAAP measure of liquidity, are described below and are reconciled to the corresponding GAAP measures at the end of this release.

  • GAAP operating income in the first quarter of 2012 was $3.39 billion, or 32% of revenues. This compares to GAAP operating income of $2.30 billion, or 27% of revenues, in the first quarter of 2011. Non-GAAP operating income in the first quarter of 2012 was $3.94 billion, or 37% of revenues. This compares to non-GAAP operating income of $3.23 billion, or 38% of revenues, in the first quarter of 2011.
  • GAAP net income in the first quarter of 2012 was $2.89 billion, compared to $1.80 billion in the first quarter of 2011. Non-GAAP net income in the first quarter of 2012 was $3.33 billion, compared to $2.64 billion in the first quarter of 2011.
  • GAAP EPS in the first quarter of 2012 was $8.75 on 330 million diluted shares outstanding, compared to $5.51 in the first quarter of 2011 on 326 million diluted shares outstanding. Non-GAAP EPS in the first quarter of 2012 was $10.08, compared to $8.08 in the first quarter of 2011.
  • Non-GAAP operating income and non-GAAP operating margin exclude the expenses related to stock-based compensation (SBC) and a charge related to the resolution of a Department of Justice investigation in the first quarter of 2011. Non-GAAP net income and non-GAAP EPS exclude the expenses noted above, net of the related tax benefits. In the first quarter of 2012, the charge related to SBC and related tax benefits were $556 million and $118 million compared to $432 million and $92 million in the first quarter of 2011. In the first quarter of 2011, the charge related to the resolution of the Department of Justice investigation was $500 million. We recognized no tax benefit for the charge related to the resolution of the Department of Justice investigation. Reconciliations of non-GAAP measures to GAAP operating income, operating margin, net income, and EPS are included at the end of this release.

Q1 Financial Highlights

Revenues – Google reported revenues of $10.65 billion in the first quarter of 2012, representing a 24% increase over first quarter 2011 revenues of $8.58 billion. Google reports its revenues, consistent with GAAP, on a gross basis without deducting TAC.

Google Sites Revenues - Google-owned sites generated revenues of $7.31 billion, or 69% of total revenues, in the first quarter of 2012. This represents a 24% increase over first quarter 2011 revenues of $5.88 billion.

Google Network Revenues - Google’s partner sites generated revenues of $2.91 billion, or 27% of total revenues, in the first quarter of 2012. This represents a 20% increase from first quarter 2011 network revenues of $2.43 billion.

International Revenues - Revenues from outside of the United States totaled $5.77 billion, representing 54% of total revenues in the first quarter of 2012, compared to 53% in the fourth quarter of 2011 and 53% in the first quarter of 2011. Excluding gains related to our foreign exchange risk management program, had foreign exchange rates remained constant from the fourth quarter of 2011 through the first quarter of 2012, our revenues in the first quarter of 2012 would have been $79 million higher. Excluding gains related to our foreign exchange risk management program, had foreign exchange rates remained constant from the first quarter of 2011 through the first quarter of 2012, our revenues in the first quarter of 2012 would have been $67 million higher.

  • Revenues from the United Kingdom totaled $1.15 billion, representing 11% of revenues in the first quarter of 2012, compared to 11% in the first quarter of 2011.
  • In the first quarter of 2012, we recognized a benefit of $37 million to revenues through our foreign exchange risk management program, compared to $14 million in the first quarter of 2011.

A reconciliation of our non-GAAP international revenues excluding the impact of foreign exchange and hedging to GAAP international revenues is included at the end of this release.

Paid Clicks – Aggregate paid clicks, which include clicks related to ads served on Google sites and the sites of our Network members, increased approximately 39% over the first quarter of 2011 and increased approximately 7% over the fourth quarter of 2011.

Cost-Per-Click – Average cost-per-click, which includes clicks related to ads served on Google sites and the sites of our Network members, decreased approximately 12% over the first quarter of 2011 and decreased approximately 6% over the fourth quarter of 2011.

TAC - Traffic acquisition costs, the portion of revenues shared with Google’s partners, increased to $2.51 billion in the first quarter of 2012, compared to TAC of $2.04 billion in the first quarter of 2011. TAC as a percentage of advertising revenues was 25% in the first quarter of 2012, compared to 25% in the first quarter of 2011.

The majority of TAC is related to amounts ultimately paid to our Network members, which totaled $2.04 billion in the first quarter of 2012. TAC also includes amounts ultimately paid to certain distribution partners and others who direct traffic to our website, which totaled $468 million in the first quarter of 2012.

Other Cost of Revenues - Other cost of revenues, which is comprised primarily of data center operational expenses, amortization of intangible assets, content acquisition costs, and credit card processing charges increased to $1.28 billion, or 12% of revenues, in the first quarter of 2012, compared to $897 million, or 10% of revenues, in the first quarter of 2011.

Operating Expenses - Operating expenses, other than cost of revenues, were $3.47 billion in the first quarter of 2012, or 33% of revenues, compared to $3.34 billion in the first quarter of 2011, or 39% of revenues.

Stock-Based Compensation (SBC) – In the first quarter of 2012, the total charge related to SBC was $556 million, compared to $432 million in the first quarter of 2011.

We currently estimate SBC charges for grants to employees prior to March 31, 2012 to be approximately $2 billion for 2012. This estimate does not include expenses to be recognized related to employee stock awards that are granted after March 31, 2012 or non-employee stock awards that have been or may be granted.

Operating Income – GAAP operating income in the first quarter of 2012 was $3.39 billion, or 32% of revenues. This compares to GAAP operating income of $2.30 billion, or 27% of revenues, in the first quarter of 2011. Non-GAAP operating income in the first quarter of 2012 was $3.94 billion, or 37% of revenues. This compares to non-GAAP operating income of $3.23 billion, or 38% of revenues, in the first quarter of 2011.

Interest and Other Income, Net – Interest and other income, net increased to $156 million in the first quarter of 2012, compared to $96 million in the first quarter of 2011.

Income Taxes – Our effective tax rate was 18% for the first quarter of 2012.

Net Income – GAAP net income in the first quarter of 2012 was $2.89 billion, compared to $1.80 billion in the first quarter of 2011. Non-GAAP net income was $3.33 billion in the first quarter of 2012, compared to $2.64 billion in the first quarter of 2011. GAAP EPS in the first quarter of 2012 was $8.75 on 330 million diluted shares outstanding, compared to $5.51 in the first quarter of 2011 on 326 million diluted shares outstanding. Non-GAAP EPS in the first quarter of 2012 was $10.08, compared to $8.08 in the first quarter of 2011.

Cash Flow and Capital Expenditures – Net cash provided by operating activities in the first quarter of 2012 totaled $3.69 billion, compared to $3.17 billion in the first quarter of 2011. In the first quarter of 2012, capital expenditures were $607 million, the majority of which was related to IT infrastructure investments, including data centers, servers, and networking equipment. Free cash flow, an alternative non-GAAP measure of liquidity, is defined as net cash provided by operating activities less capital expenditures. In the first quarter of 2012, free cash flow was $3.09 billion.

We expect to continue to make significant capital expenditures.

A reconciliation of free cash flow to net cash provided by operating activities, the GAAP measure of liquidity, is included at the end of this release.

Cash – As of March 31, 2012, cash, cash equivalents, and short-term marketable securities were $49.3 billion.

Headcount – On a worldwide basis, Google employed 33,077 full-time employees as of March 31, 2012, up from 32,467 full-time employees as of December 31, 2011.

WEBCAST AND CONFERENCE CALL INFORMATION

A live audio webcast of Google’s first quarter 2012 earnings release call will be available at http://investor.google.com/webcast.html. The call begins today at 1:30 PM (PT) / 4:30 PM (ET). This press release, the financial tables, as well as other supplemental information including the reconciliations of certain non-GAAP measures to their nearest comparable GAAP measures, are also available on that site.

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. These statements include statements regarding our continued investments in our core areas of strategic focus, our expected SBC charges, and our plans to make significant capital expenditures. Actual results may differ materially from the results predicted, and reported results should not be considered as an indication of future performance. The potential risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ from the results predicted include, among others, unforeseen changes in our hiring patterns and our need to expend capital to accommodate the growth of the business, as well as those risks and uncertainties included under the captions “Risk Factors” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2011, which is on file with the SEC and is available on our investor relations website at investor.google.com and on the SEC website at http://www.sec.gov. Additional information will also be set forth in our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2012. All information provided in this release and in the attachments is as of April 12, 2012, and we undertake no duty to update this information unless required by law.

ABOUT NON-GAAP FINANCIAL MEASURES

To supplement our consolidated financial statements, which statements are prepared and presented in accordance with GAAP, we use the following non-GAAP financial measures: non-GAAP operating income, non-GAAP operating margin, non-GAAP net income, non-GAAP EPS, free cash flow, and non-GAAP international revenues. The presentation of this financial information is not intended to be considered in isolation or as a substitute for, or superior to, the financial information prepared and presented in accordance with GAAP. For more information on these non-GAAP financial measures, please see the tables captioned “Reconciliations of non-GAAP results of operations measures to the nearest comparable GAAP measures,” “Reconciliation from net cash provided by operating activities to free cash flow,” and “Reconciliation from GAAP international revenues to non-GAAP international revenues” included at the end of this release.

We use these non-GAAP financial measures for financial and operational decision-making and as a means to evaluate period-to-period comparisons. Our management believes that these non-GAAP financial measures provide meaningful supplemental information regarding our performance and liquidity by excluding certain expenses and expenditures that may not be indicative of our “recurring core business operating results,” meaning our operating performance excluding not only non-cash charges, such as SBC, but also discrete cash charges that are infrequent in nature. We believe that both management and investors benefit from referring to these non-GAAP financial measures in assessing our performance and when planning, forecasting, and analyzing future periods. These non-GAAP financial measures also facilitate management’s internal comparisons to our historical performance and liquidity as well as comparisons to our competitors’ operating results. We believe these non-GAAP financial measures are useful to investors both because (1) they allow for greater transparency with respect to key metrics used by management in its financial and operational decision-making and (2) they are used by our institutional investors and the analyst community to help them analyze the health of our business.

Non-GAAP operating income and operating margin. We define non-GAAP operating income as operating income plus expenses related to SBC, and, as applicable, other special items. Non-GAAP operating margin is defined as non-GAAP operating income divided by revenues. Google considers these non-GAAP financial measures to be useful metrics for management and investors because they exclude the effect of SBC and as applicable, other special items so that Google’s management and investors can compare Google’s recurring core business operating results over multiple periods. Because of varying available valuation methodologies, subjective assumptions and the variety of award types that companies can use under FASB ASC Topic 718, Google’s management believes that providing a non-GAAP financial measure that excludes SBC allows investors to make meaningful comparisons between Google’s recurring core business operating results and those of other companies, as well as providing Google’s management with an important tool for financial and operational decision making and for evaluating Google’s own recurring core business operating results over different periods of time. There are a number of limitations related to the use of non-GAAP operating income versus operating income calculated in accordance with GAAP. First, non-GAAP operating income excludes some costs, namely, SBC, that are recurring. SBC has been and will continue to be for the foreseeable future a significant recurring expense in Google’s business. Second, SBC is an important part of our employees’ compensation and impacts their performance. Third, the components of the costs that we exclude in our calculation of non-GAAP operating income may differ from the components that our peer companies exclude when they report their results of operations. Management compensates for these limitations by providing specific information regarding the GAAP amounts excluded from non-GAAP operating income and evaluating non-GAAP operating income together with operating income calculated in accordance with GAAP.

Non-GAAP net income and EPS. We define non-GAAP net income as net income plus expenses related to SBC, and, as applicable, other special items less the related tax effects. The tax effect of SBC is calculated using the tax-deductible portion of SBC and applying the entity-specific, U.S. federal and blended state tax rates. We define non-GAAP EPS as non-GAAP net income divided by the weighted average outstanding shares, on a fully-diluted basis. We consider these non-GAAP financial measures to be a useful metric for management and investors for the same reasons that Google uses non-GAAP operating income and non-GAAP operating margin. However, in order to provide a complete picture of our recurring core business operating results, we exclude from non-GAAP net income and non-GAAP EPS the tax effects associated with SBC and, as applicable, other special items. Without excluding these tax effects, investors would only see the gross effect that excluding these expenses had on our operating results. The same limitations described above regarding Google’s use of non-GAAP operating income and non-GAAP operating margin apply to our use of non-GAAP net income and non-GAAP EPS. Management compensates for these limitations by providing specific information regarding the GAAP amounts excluded from non-GAAP net income and non-GAAP EPS and evaluating non-GAAP net income and non-GAAP EPS together with net income and EPS calculated in accordance with GAAP.

Free cash flow. We define free cash flow as net cash provided by operating activities less capital expenditures. We consider free cash flow to be a liquidity measure that provides useful information to management and investors about the amount of cash generated by the business that, after the acquisition of property and equipment, including information technology infrastructure and land and buildings, can be used for strategic opportunities, including investing in our business, making strategic acquisitions, and strengthening the balance sheet. Analysis of free cash flow also facilitates management’s comparisons of our operating results to competitors’ operating results. A limitation of using free cash flow versus the GAAP measure of net cash provided by operating activities as a means for evaluating Google is that free cash flow does not represent the total increase or decrease in the cash balance from operations for the period because it excludes cash used for capital expenditures during the period. Our management compensates for this limitation by providing information about our capital expenditures on the face of the statement of cash flows and under the caption “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” in our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q and Annual Report on Form 10-K. Google has computed free cash flow using the same consistent method from quarter to quarter and year to year.

Non-GAAP international revenues. We define non-GAAP international revenues as international revenues excluding the impact of foreign exchange and hedging. Non-GAAP international revenues are calculated by translating current quarter revenues using prior quarter and prior year exchange rates, as well as excluding any hedging gains realized in the current quarter. We consider non-GAAP international revenues as a useful metric as it facilitates management’s internal comparison to our historical performance.

The accompanying tables have more details on the GAAP financial measures that are most directly comparable to non-GAAP financial measures and the related reconciliations between these financial measures.