Google's sales chief leaving for SoftBank; ad prices stabilizing

|By:, SA News Editor

In tandem with its Q2 report, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) announces long-time sales chief Nikesh Arora (well-respected in the industry) is leaving to become SoftBank's (OTCPK:SFTBF) vice chairman and Internet/Media chief.

Google's paid clicks (boosted by mobile and product listing ads) rose 2% Q/Q and 25% Y/Y in Q2, after growing 25% Y/Y in Q1. Paid clicks on Google sites rose 6% Q/Q and 33% Y/Y, while those on ad networks were down 5% Q/Q and up 9% Y/Y.

Cost per click (hurt by low smartphone ad prices) was flat Q/Q and down 6% Y/Y. The Y/Y drop was narrower than Q1's 9%. CPC was down 2% Q/Q and 7% Y/Y on Google sites, and up 3% Q/Q and down 13% Y/Y on ad networks.

Google sites revenue (69% of total) +23% Y/Y vs. +21% in Q1. Network revenue (21% of total) +7% Y/Y vs. +4%.  Other revenue (10% of total, includes hardware and Google Play) +53% vs. +48%.

Traffic acquisition costs were 23% of revenue, even with Q1 and down from 25% a year ago. Opex was 35% of revenue, even with Q1 and up from 34% a year ago.

Free cash flow was $2.98B, below net income of $4.18B. Capex was a hefty $2.65B.

Google ended Q2 with $61.2B in cash, up $1.8B Q/Q.

GOOG +2% AH. Q2 results, PR.