Google CapEx Edges Higher in Q4

Google (GOOG) invested $221 million on its data centers in the fourth quarter of 2009, a slight uptick from the $186 million it spent in the third quarter but well below the levels seen during the company's expansion years in 2007-2008.

Google (GOOG) invested $221 million on its data centers in the fourth quarter of 2009, a slight uptick from the $186 million it spent in the third quarter. But Google's infrastructure costs remained well below the levels seen during the company's expansion years in 2006-2007. The company has not announced any new data center builds in the U.S. since June 2007, and confirmed just one international project in 2009 in Hamina, Finland. Here's a look at the recent trend in Google's capital expenditures: 

Google-CapEx-4Q2009

  • 1Q 2006: $345 million
  • 2Q 2006: $699 million
  • 3Q 2006: $492 million
  • 4Q 2006: $367 million
  • 1Q 2007: $597 million
  • 2Q 2007: $575 million
  • 3Q 2007: $553 million
  • 4Q 2007: $678 million
  • 1Q 2008: $842 million
  • 2Q 2008: $698 million
  • 3Q 2008: $452 million
  • 4Q 2008:$368 million
  • 1Q 2009: $263 million
  • 2Q 2009: $139 million
  • 3Q 2009: $186 million


The capex "breather" has been enabled by the company's building boom in 2007-08, during which it announced major data center construction projects in Lenoir, North Carolina; Goose Creek, South Carolina; Pryor, Oklahoma and Council Bluffs, Iowa.

After the economic meltdown gripped Wall Street last fall, Google throttled back spending even further, opting to delay construction of its data center in Pryor.

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