Google grows revenue, profit in Q3

The company believes the economy is on its way back from the downturn

Google grew both its revenue and profit in the third quarter, which ended Sept. 30, registering results its CEO called "strong" and that exceeded Wall Street expectations.

Google had revenue of $US5.94 billion, up 7 percent compared with 2008's third quarter, the company said Thursday. Of that total, it paid out $US1.56 billion, or 27 percent, as commissions to its advertising partners and, to a lesser extent, as fees to other partners. Thus, net revenue was $US4.38 billion.

Net income came in at $US1.64 billion, or $US5.13 per share, up from $US1.29 billion, or $US4.06 per share, in 2008's third quarter.

On a pro forma basis, which excludes certain items, net income was $US1.88 billion, or $US5.89 per share, compared to $US1.56 billion, or $US4.92 per share.

The consensus estimate from financial analysts was for earnings per share on a pro forma basis of $US5.42 and net revenue, deducting commissions, of $US4.24 billion.

"Google had a strong quarter -- we saw 7 percent year-over-year revenue growth despite the tough economic conditions," Google CEO Eric Schmidt said in a statement. "While there is a lot of uncertainty about the pace of economic recovery, we believe the worst of the recession is behind us and now feel confident about investing heavily in our future."

Paid clicks on ads served on Google sites and on partner sites increased 14 percent, while the average cost-per-click fell 6 percent, Google said.

The company ended the quarter with cash, cash equivalents and short-term marketable securities totalling $US22 billion, and with a global staff of 19,665 full-time employees, slightly down from the second quarter.

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