Shares of Google, which have risen more than 20 percent in the past
three months, rose nearly 4 percent to $1,178 in after-hours trading
Google executives said in a conference call on Thursday that the
company benefited from strong demand from brand marketers and
retailers in the fourth quarter, as well as healthy demand for
online ads in international markets.
"In the holiday season one thing has become very clear, the Web has
truly become the new holiday store window," Google Chief Business
Officer Nikesh Arora said.
Paid clicks on Google's online ads jumped 31 percent during the
typically busy holiday quarter, but the average cost per click that
marketers paid the company slid 11 percent.
Google's advertising rates, like those of other Internet companies
including Yahoo Inc, has been under pressure as more consumers
access its online services on mobile devices such as smartphones and
tablets, where advertising rates are lower than on PCs.
Motorola, which Google has agreed to sell to China's top PC maker
for $2.91 billion, saw operating losses of $384 million in the
quarter, more than double the $152 million loss from a year earlier.
The Internet search giant has struggled to turn the unit around in
the face of steep competition from Apple Inc, and the sale of the
loss-making unit is considered a positive for Google.
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Google's consolidated revenue, which includes the money-losing
Motorola smartphone business, rose to $16.86 billion from $14.42
billion in the fourth quarter of 2012. Analysts polled by Thomson
Reuters I/B/E/S were looking for $16.75 billion.
Revenue in Google's core Internet business totaled $15.7 billion in
the last three months of the year, up 22 percent from the $12.91
billion in the year-ago period.
Google's consolidated net income was $3.38 billion, or $9.90 per
share, compared to $2.89 billion, or $8.62 per share, in the
year-ago period. Excluding certain items, Google said it earned
$12.01 per share, below analysts' expectations for about $12.20.
(Reporting by Alexei Oreskovic; editing
by Bernard Orr)
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