In brief: Google’s earnings increase despite slump in ad prices
SAN FRANCISCO – Google’s earnings climbed 36 percent despite a deepening slump in its average ad prices as advertisers purchase a growing number of cheaper commercial pitches to reach people who connect to its search engine and other services on mobile devices.
The results released Thursday exceeded the analyst projections that steer investors. Google’s stock surged by more than 6 percent after the numbers came out.
Google Inc. earned nearly $3 billion, or $8.75 per share, during the three months ending in September. That compared to income of $2.2 billion, or $6.53 per share, at the same time last year.
TV wants more live events
NEW YORK – Television executives are looking for more than hot actors these days. They’re searching for the next Nik Wallenda.
With ratings for Wallenda’s tightrope walks across Niagara Falls and the Grand Canyon in mind, networks are taking meetings from people pitching programs about cars flipping over or an attempt to set a record for simultaneous skydives. They’re all on the hunt for the next big event.
Social media and television’s economic system have given rise to a counterintuitive trend: The more opportunities there are for people to watch TV on their own time with DVRs and video on demand, the more valuable programming that can deliver a big live audience has become.
It’s not just stunts. Live sports, awards shows, singing competitions and the Olympics are all examples of programs that networks consider DVR-proof.
Jobless benefits requests fall
WASHINGTON – Applications for U.S. unemployment benefits dropped 15,000 to a seasonally adjusted 358,000 last week, though the figure was distorted for the second straight week by California’s efforts to clear backlogged claims.
The partial government shutdown also likely boosted the total, as government contractors and other businesses furloughed employees. The Labor Department says the less volatile four-week average rose 11,750 to 336,500.
Applications have jumped in the past two weeks, distorted by computer upgrades in two states and the 16-day shutdown. Prior to those unusual factors, claims had reached pre-recession levels, a sign that companies are cutting very few workers.
Fixed mortgage rates rise
WASHINGTON – Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages rose slightly this week, staying near three-month lows. Rates could fall next week now that lawmakers reached a deal to avert a possible government debt default and reopen the federal government.
Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate on the 30-year loan increased to 4.28 percent from 4.23 percent last week. The average on the 15-year fixed loan edged up to 3.33 percent from 3.31 percent.