Note that this earnings statement includes over $500 million in losses on Motorola’s end.
At any rate, the earnings dropped because analysts projected around $1.60 more per share than the actual results. This doesn’t mean that Google missed anything, but rather that analysts have once again set their estimates way off-base.
John Herrman of BuzzFeed notes that Google’s profit proportion shrunk:
This might seem odd considering that the report says Google made $2.74 billion in income last quarter. But that’s lower than expected, and lower than the same quarter last year. Google’s overall revenues, on the other hand, are up 45% from the same time last year, which means that its income is far less in proportion to how big it is: 19% of revenues last quarter, vs 37% in 2011. Google is growing, but its profits are shrinking.
Like I noted above, the big difference year-over-year is that this Q3 report includes the Motorola acquisition. I think it’s far too early to make a judgement as to whether that was a good or bad move until this time next year.