Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) beat analyst estimates today as the search-engine giant’s fourth-quarter earnings rose 7% from the previous year. An increase in online advertising revenue over the holidays was the primary catalyst behind Google’s improved earnings.
Google’s earnings beat has already pushed shares up 4.5% in after-hours trading.
Here are a few highlights from the company’s earnings call:
- Revenue surged 36% from the previous year, and 8% from the previous quarter.
- Paid clicks increased 24% – an indication of the company’s expanding advertising base.
- The amount advertisers paid for those clicks fell 6% – the fifth consecutive quarter that the average click cost has declined.
- The company hit $50 billion for the first time in 2012.
- Google’s Motorola Mobility business – which the company purchased for $12.5 billion last May to improve its standing in the lucrative mobile market – lost $353 million for the quarter despite bringing in $1.51 billion in revenue.
- Earnings excluding items of $10.65 per share outpaced analyst expectations of $10.42 a share.