Google reported solid growth in the first quarter, just as co-founder Larry Page prepares to usher in a new chapter in the company's history.
The search giant's revenue hit US$8.58 billion for the quarter ending March 31, a 27 percent increase compared to the first quarter last year. Subtracting commissions and fees paid to its advertising network and other partners, revenue was $6.54 billion.
Net income in the quarter was $2.30 billion, or $7.04 per share, compared to $1.96 billion or $6.06 in the same period in 2010, using generally accepted accounting principles. On a non-GAAP basis, net income was $2.64 billion, or $8.08, compared to $2.18 billion or $6.76 last year.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were expecting revenue without commissions of $6.32 billion and non-GAAP earnings of $8.11.
Google-owned sites generated revenue of $5.88 billion in the quarter and partner sites generated revenue, through AdSense programs, of $2.43 billion. Revenue from outside the U.S. represented 53 percent of total revenue, up from 52 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010 but the same as the first quarter last year.
Earlier this year Google announced that Larry Page, the company's co-founder, would become CEO, taking over for Eric Schmidt who would become executive chairman. The change took effect April 4, so the new leadership doesn't impact first quarter results.
Google will host a conference call Thursday afternoon to further discuss the results.