Google's First Quarter Earnings Rise 16%, Beat Wall Street Estimates

Google beats Wall Street estimates
Francois G. Durand/Getty Images
SAN FRANCISCO -- Google's (GOOG) latest quarterly results provided further proof that the Internet search leader is figuring out how to make more money as Web surfers migrate from personal computers to mobile devices.

The first-quarter numbers released Thursday show that a recent decline in Google's average ad prices is easing. The trend indicates that marketers are starting to pay more for the ads that Google distributes to smartphones and tablet computers. Mobile ads so far have fetched less money than those viewed on the larger screens of laptop and desktop computers.

But a growing number of people are clicking on mobile ads as they increasingly connect to Internet services on smartphones and tablets, driving down average price paid for a marketing link. Google's average price, or the "cost per click" to advertisers, has fallen from the previous year in six consecutive quarters, including the opening three months of the year.
The latest decrease in average ad prices was 4 percent. By comparison, Google's average ad price fell by 6 percent during the final three months of last year and by 12 percent during last year's first quarter.

Google earned $3.3 billion, or $9.94 per share, during the opening three months of the year. That was a 16 percent increase from $2.9 billion, or $8.75 per share, last year.

If not for certain expenses, Google said it would have earned $11.58 per share. That figure exceeded the average earnings estimate of $10.65 per share among analysts surveyed by FactSet.

Revenue climbed 31 percent from last year to $14 billion. After subtracting advertising commissions, Google's revenue totaled $11 billion.

Google's stock edged up $4.09, or 0.5 percent, to $770 in extended trading after the numbers came out.

Read More: Google Snaps Up a $39 Million Fiber Network in Utah for $1


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