Google Expands Revenue but Misses Forecast

Google's fourth-quarter revenue climbed 25 percent from a year earlier but was less than analysts had expected, pulling its stock price down 9 percent in after-hours trading Thursday.

Google's revenue for the three months to Dec. 31 came in at US$10.58 billion, up from $8.44 billion a year earlier, the company announced Thursday. Subtracting commissions and fees paid to partners, revenue was $8.13 billion, below the consensus analyst forecast of $8.41 billion, according to Thomson Reuters.

The company's stock price had dipped more than 9 percent at the time of this report, to $580.91, as investors reacted to the news. Earlier in the day, its stock ended regular trading at $639.57, up 1 percent.

Google's net income for the quarter was $2.71 billion, the company said, up from $2.54 billion in the fourth quarter last year. In a statement, CEO Larry Page was upbeat. "Google had a really strong quarter ending a great year," he said.

It's Google+ social networking service now has 90 million users, he said, up from about 40 million when Google reported its third-quarter results a few months ago.

Google executives will say more about the results in a conference call Thursday.

(More to follow.)

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