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Google's ad growth offsets steep price drop

31 January 2014, 16:23Reuters

San Francisco - Google's quarterly revenue beat Wall Street's target despite a sharp decline in prices for its online ads and deepening losses at Motorola, the handset-making division to be sold to China's Lenovo.

Paid clicks on Google's online ads jumped 31% during the typically busy holiday quarter, but the average cost per click that marketers paid the company slid 11%.

Motorola, which Google has agreed to sell to China's top PC maker for $2.91bn, saw operating losses of $384m in the quarter, more than double the $152m loss from a year earlier.

The Internet search giant has struggled to turn the unit around in the face of steep competition from Apple, and the sale of the loss-making unit is considered a positive for Google.

Google's consolidated revenue, which includes the money-losing Motorola smartphone business, rose to $16.86bn from $14.42bn in the fourth quarter of 2012. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S were looking for $16.75bn.

Revenue in Google's core Internet business totaled $15.7bn in the last three months of the year, up 22% from the $12.91bn in the year-ago period.

Google's consolidated net income was $3.38bn, or $9.90 per share, compared to $2.89bn, or $8.62 per share, in the year-ago period. Excluding certain items, Google said it earned $12.01 per share, below analysts' expectations for about $12.20.

Shares of the world's No1 Internet search engine rose slightly to $1 143 in after-hours trading on Thursday.

- Reuters

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