Google reports strong Q4 revenue growth

Google's revenue and net income both rose by over 80 percent in its fourth quarter, ended Dec. 31, 2005, as the company continued to grow its search engine-based advertising business, it announced Tuesday.

Revenue grew 86 percent to US$1.92 billion compared with last year's fourth quarter. Net income increased 82 percent to US$372 million, or US$1.22 per share.

During the quarter, Google paid out US$629 million to third-party affiliates of its online ad network. These payments are commonly known as traffic acquisition costs or TACs.

Wall Street reacted negatively to the results. At press time, the stock (GOOG) had fallen almost 16 percent in after hours trading.

Analysts polled by Thomson Financial had a consensus estimate for earnings per share of US$1.76, which Google missed. However, the company met their consensus expectation of revenue, excluding TACs, of US$1.29 billion.

For the full year, revenue came in at US$6.14 billion, up 92.5 percent over 2004, while net income was US$1.46 billion, or US$5.02 per share, up from US$399.1 million, or US$1.46 per share.

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Juan Carlos Perez

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