Google Grows Revenue 23 Percent in Q1

Google grew its revenue and profit in its first fiscal quarter, exceeding Wall Street expectations and prompting the Internet company to express a commitment for "heavy investment" in its core and newer businesses.

Google's revenue hit US$6.77 billion in the quarter, ended March 31, 2010, up 23 percent compared to the first quarter of 2009. Subtracting commissions and fees paid to its advertising network and other partners, revenue was $5.06 billion.

Net income came in at $1.96 billion, or $6.06 per share, compared to $1.42 billion, or $4.49 per share, in the first quarter of 2009, the company said on Thursday.

On a pro forma basis, which excludes certain one-time items, net income in the first quarter was $2.18 billion, or $6.76 per share, compared to $1.64 billion, or $5.16 per share, in the first quarter of 2009.

The consensus estimate from financial analysts polled by Thomson Financial had been for Google to report revenue minus commissions of $4.95 billion and pro forma earnings of $6.60 per share.

Google-owned sites generated 66 percent of total revenue, while partner sites accounted for 30 percent. Fifty-three percent of total revenue came from outside of the U.S.

People clicked 15 percent more times on Google search ads in the first quarter, compared with the same quarter in 2009, while the average fee Google charges advertisers per ad click increased about 7 percent. Google makes most of its revenue from pay-per-click search ads.

As of March 31, Google had cash, cash equivalents and short-term marketable securities worth $26.5 billion.

Google grew its global staff to 20,621 full-time employees from 19,835 full-time employees during the first quarter.

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