Google Rides Strong Q4 To Pass $50 Billion In Yearly Revenue

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2:44 PM EDT January 22nd, 2013

Amidst concerns from investors and word from the company itself that analysts may be setting their expectations too high, Google announced yesterday that they handily surpassed Q4 2012 estimates and hit $50 billion in yearly revenue for the first time.

“We ended 2012 with a strong quarter,” said Larry Page, CEO of Google. “Revenues were up 36 percent year-on-year, and 8 percent quarter-on-quarter. And we hit $50 billion in revenues for the first time last year – not a bad achievement in just a decade and a half.”

Google reported fourth quarter revenue of $14.4 billion – up 36 percent from a year ago and significantly higher than the expected total of $12.36 billion. Net revenue increased from $8.13 billion a year ago to $11.34 billion, while net income jumped 13 percent to $10.65 a share.

Last week, Google warned that analysts’ $12 billion revenue forecast may be too high thanks to the company’s selling of Motorola’s set top box unit, even though Google’s fourth quarters are traditionally its strongest.

The lone bad news for Google came from its cost-per-clicks, which declined 6 percent, marking, as the fifth straight quarter of year-over-year decline, as The New York Times pointed out. Google’s desktop click rates have fallen 4 percent over the pat half year, but its share of clicks from mobile and tablet devices has increased by 4 percent as well.

“In today’s multi-screen world we face tremendous opportunities as a technology company focused on user benefit,” Page said. “It’s an incredibly exciting time to be at Google.”

The company’s stock was up more than 4 percent in after-hours trading following the announcement.

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