Google grows revenue and profit in Q4

The company caps a year in which it did well financially despite the world's economic crisis

Google's revenue and profits grew in the fourth quarter, which ended Dec. 31, 2009, and exceeded Wall Street's expectations, capping a year in which the search company did well despite the global economic turmoil.

Google had revenue of $US6.67 billion, up 17 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2008. Subtracting the commissions Google pays to its ad-network partners, revenue was $US4.95 billion, topping the $US4.92 billion analyst consensus expectation.

Net income came in at $US1.97 billion, or $US6.13 per share, compared to $US382 million, or $US1.21 per share compared to the same period last year. On a pro forma basis, which excludes certain one-time items, net income was $US2.19 billion, or $US6.79 per share, compared to $US1.62 billion, or $US5.10 per share, in the fourth quarter of 2008. Analyst consensus had been for earnings per share of $US6.50 on a pro forma basis.

"Our performance in 2009 underscored the strength of our management team, the resilience of our business model and the pace of innovation within our product and engineering teams, which continued unabated throughout the downturn," said Google CEO Eric Schmidt in a statement.

Google-owned sites generated 66 percent of the total revenue, while ad-network partner sites generated the rest.

Paid clicks, which are ads on which users clicked, thus generating a fee for Google, increased 13 percent compared with 2008's fourth quarter. The average value of clicks rose 5 percent.

Google ended 2009 with $US24.5 billion in cash, cash equivalents and short-term marketable securities, and a staff of 19,835 full-time employees, 170 more than in 2009's third quarter.

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Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service
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