Updated: Motogoo: The Damage to Google’s Bottom Line

Steve Wildstrom / August 15th, 2011

Update 8/16: The market seemed distinctly cooler to the Google-Motorola Mobility deal the day after, with shares falling 3.27% to 539. And Standard & Poor’s downgraded GOOG from “buy” to “sell” on concerns about the impact of the Motorola deal. Here’s Peter Kafka’s take at All Things D.

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Whatever benefit the acquisition of Motorola Mobility brings Google in the long run, it definitely would wreak havoc on the company’s financials in the short term.

Motogoo logoFor the year ended Dec. 10, 2010, Motorola Mobility (MMI) had gross revenues of $11,5 billion compared with $29.3 billion for Google. But MMI’s operating income was just $76 million or 0.7% of revenues, compared with $10.4 billion or 35.4% for Google. MMI ended the year with a net loss of $79 million, while Google has a net of $4.2 billion or 10.3%.

During the crudest sort of combination–real pro forma financials for the combined company will be much more complicated–absorbing MMI would have knocked 11 points off Google’s gross margin and 4.3 points off its net.

Financial markets don’t seem overly concerned about this. Google shares fell 6.54 or 1.16% today in a generally up market. Despite the damage to the income statement, the acquisition will have minimal impact on Google’s balance sheet. The company won’t have to take on any debt to pay for the deal and MMI, which was spun off from Motorola only a year ago, would bring no significant debt to the marriage.

Of course, if Google continues on its recent growth path, the financial impact of the acquisition won’t last long. The real challenge will be melding two companies with vastly different  cultures and histories.

Steve Wildstrom

Steve Wildstrom is veteran technology reporter, writer, and analyst based in the Washington, D.C. area. He created and wrote BusinessWeek’s Technology & You column for 15 years. Since leaving BusinessWeek in the fall of 2009, he has written his own blog, Wildstrom on Tech and has contributed to corporate blogs, including those of Cisco and AMD and also consults for major technology companies.
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