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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Business

Google profit rises sevenfold

Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — Google Inc.’s fourth-quarter profit surged to a sevenfold increase, accelerating the financial gains that have quickly turned the online search engine leader into a Wall Street favorite.

The Mountain View-based company said Tuesday that it earned $204.1 million, or 71 cents per share, during the final three months of 2004. That compared to net income of $27.3 million, or 10 cents per share, at the same time in 2003.

Revenue for the period totaled $1.03 billion, more than doubling from $512.2 million in the prior year. After subtracting commissions paid to other Web sites in its advertising network, Google’s fourth-quarter revenue worked out to $653.5 million, more than doubling from a comparable figure of $296 million in the previous year.

If not for a $60 million charge to cover stock compensation paid to its employees, Google would have earned 92 cents per share, unadjusted from income taxes. That figure exceeded the mean estimate of 77 cents per share among analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call. It marked the second consecutive quarter that Google has blown by analysts’ earnings estimates since the company’s closely watched initial public offering of stock nearly six months ago.

The company released the results after the stock market closed. Google’s shares fell $3.72 to close at $191.90 on the Nasdaq Stock Market, then climbed by $18.45 in extended trading.

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