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Google earnings strong for 1st quarter

Revenue was a bit light at $10.65 billion, but overall the company was upbeat. CEO Larry Page calls the quarter "great," touting momentum for Android, Chrome, and YouTube.

Google reported strong first-quarter earnings that were better than expected, but revenue was a bit light.

The company also approved a 2-for-1 stock split, but maintains a structure that leaves control with founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin.

The company reported first-quarter earnings of $2.89 billion, or $8.75 a share, on revenue of $8.14 billion excluding traffic acquisition costs. Including traffic acquisition costs Google revenue for the quarter was $10.65 billion. Non-GAAP earnings came in at $10.08 a share.

Google revenue Q1 2012
Screenshot by Larry Dignan/ZDNet

Wall Street expected Google to report first-quarter earnings of $9.65 a share on revenue of $8.15 billion excluding traffic acquisition costs.

Cost-per-click rates were down 12 percent from a year ago. That decline was worse than expected and may reflect more mobile and tablet traffic.

Overall, the company was upbeat about its outlook. CEO Larry Page in a statement called the quarter "great," touted 24 percent revenue growth and momentum of Android, Chrome, and YouTube.

In afterhours trading, investors didn't sweat cost-per-click rates and cheered a stock split.

Google shares
Screenshot by Larry Dignan/ZDNet

By the numbers for the first quarter:

  • Google site revenue was $7.31 billion, up 24 percent from a year ago.
  • Network revenue was $2.91 billion, up 20 percent. Revenue figures for site and network revenue include TAC.
  • 54 percent of Google's revenue was international. U.K revenue was 11 percent of sales.
  • Paid clicks were up 39 percent from a year ago.
  • Other costs of revenue -- read data center investment -- were up 12 percent to $1.28 billion in the first quarter.
  • Google employed 33,077 full-timers as of March 31.
Google revenue Q1 2012
Screenshot by Larry Dignan/ZDNet