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Google Grows Earnings, Revenue in Q3 as Ad Sales Accelerate

Google grew its sales and profits in the third quarter, exceeding Wall Street's expectations along the way, as the search company's advertising business continued on a strong growth path.

Google CEO and Co-Founder Larry Page described the quarter as "great" in a statement, as both the price and volume of Google-served pay-per-click ads increased year-on-year.

Google ended the quarter with revenue of US$9.72 billion, up 33 percent year-on-year. Subtracting commissions and fees paid to partners, revenue was $7.51 billion, exceeding the consensus estimate of $7.21 billion from financial analysts polled by Thomson Financial.

The company had net income of $2.73 billion, or $8.33 per share, up from $2.17 billion, or $6.72 per share, in 2010's third quarter. On a pro forma basis, which factors in certain one-time items, net income was $3.18 billion, or $9.72 per share, beating the analysts' consensus expectation of $8.74 and exceeding the $2.46 billion, or $7.64 per share, in last year's third quarter.

Google-owned sites generated 69 percent of total revenue. The company's international business accounted for 55 percent of all revenue.

Users clicked on Google-served ads 28 percent more times in the quarter, year-on-year, and the average fee paid by advertisers for each click rose 5 percent year on year.

Google finished the quarter with $42.6 billion in cash, cash equivalents, and short-term marketable securities. Its global staff increased to 31,353 full-time employees, up from 28,768 full-time employees at the end of the second quarter.

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