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Google Surges, Crashes and Snoozes

Higher advertising spending on YouTube and on mobile platforms, along with growth in programmatic ad buying helped Google post a stronger-than-expected second quarter. Cost cutting and hints by its new CFO Ruth Porat that Google may, for the first time, offer investors a dividend or repurchase shares helped push its stock and market cap today to an all-time high past $400 billion.

Google revenues of $17.7 billion were up 11% for the quarter, blowing past Wall Street expectations of $14.28 billion. That's right -- the company posted $3 billion more in revenues than analysts expected. Investors applauded the strong quarter by pushing its shares up more than 14% today. Porat, who came over to Google last month from Morgan Stanley, noted that viewership on YouTube has increased 60 percent --  the fastest growth in two years.

The surge in its overall business competed for attention with news that Google's self-driving car was involved in another crash yesterday, this one in Mountain View, Calif. where the company is headquartered. Google said the crash wasn't the fault of the driverless car. A Lexus SUV behind it didn't break at all, wrote Chris Umson, who oversees Google's driverless car program. In a blog post, Umson said it was the 14th time that another driver hit one of its cars, 11 of which were rear-end collisions.
"The clear theme is human error and inattention, Unson said. "We'll take all this as a signal that we're starting to compare favorably with human drivers. Our self-driving cars can pay attention to hundreds of objects at once, 360 degrees in all directions, and they never get tired, irritable or distracted."

Meanwhile, if all of this makes you want to snooze, Google has taken care of that today as well. Google has added a snooze button to the interface of its Gmail program. So if you have a message you want to pop up to the top of your inbox at a more appropriate time, the company now supports that capability. Google said users can now snooze such messages as restaurant reservations, hotel confirmations, calendar invites and package tracking updates.

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 07/17/2015 at 12:23 PM


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