Wall Street loves Google's new CFO

Ruth PoratReutersGoogle CFO Ruth Porat

Google’s stock hopped on a rocket ship Friday morning, flying up more than 14% after the company’s stellar Q2 earnings. That’s its biggest one-day rally ever.

The company delivered an EPS beat and was nearly spot-on with revenue expectations, with YouTube’s growth accelerating and an unexpectedly high ad click increase. But the comments of the new CFO, Ruth Porat, also made a big impression.

Google stock had been basically flat for the past year, with Wall Street worried about decelerating core business growth and a need for more disciplined spending, and Porat told investors exactly what they wanted to hear.

Analysts praised Porat liberally in their research notes this morning:

“New CFO delivers,” Macquarie wrote. “…we thought Ruth’s commentary was incrementally positive on top of mind issues,” Barclays commented. “Dawn of a new era? Kinda feels like it,” Deutsche Bank titled its research note on the earnings. Porat “did not disappoint,” Goldman Sachs notes. “She focused on the matters that the market cares about the most, namely the ability to invest with discipline and what appears to be a more pragmatic outlook on its balance sheet.”

Porat is one of Wall Street’s own stars:

Before joining Google, she spent more than 20 years at Morgan Stanley, prompting Politico to laud her as “the most powerful woman on Wall Street.”

Google’s paying Porat $US70 million in bonuses and grants, a number that seems paltry compared to the roughly $US50 billion it added to its market cap after she delivered its earnings.

Although her comments on the earnings call did the most to quell investor doubts, we can’t actually give her credit for the numbers in Google’s report: She didn’t officially take over from former CFO Patrick Pichette until May 26, when the quarter was more than half over.

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