By Alexei Oreskovic
SAN FRANCISCO Jan 30 Google Inc's
quarterly revenue beat Wall Street's target despite an ongoing
decline in prices for its online ads and deepening losses at
Motorola, the handset-making division to be sold to China's
Shares of Google, which have risen more than 20 percent in
the past three months, rose nearly 4 percent to $1,178 in
after-hours trading on Thursday.
Google executives said in a conference call on Thursday that
the company benefited from strong demand from brand marketers
and retailers in the fourth quarter, as well as healthy demand
for online ads in international markets.
"In the holiday season one thing has become very clear, the
Web has truly become the new holiday store window," Google Chief
Business Officer Nikesh Arora said.
Paid clicks on Google's online ads jumped 31 percent during
the typically busy holiday quarter, but the average cost per
click that marketers paid the company slid 11 percent.
Google's advertising rates, like those of other Internet
companies including Yahoo Inc, has been under pressure
as more consumers access its online services on mobile devices
such as smartphones and tablets, where advertising rates are
lower than on PCs.
Motorola, which Google has agreed to sell to China's top PC
maker for $2.91 billion, saw operating losses of $384 million in
the quarter, more than double the $152 million loss from a year
The Internet search giant has struggled to turn the unit
around in the face of steep competition from Apple Inc,
and the sale of the loss-making unit is considered a positive
Google's consolidated revenue, which includes the
money-losing Motorola smartphone business, rose to $16.86
billion from $14.42 billion in the fourth quarter of 2012.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S were looking for
Revenue in Google's core Internet business totaled $15.7
billion in the last three months of the year, up 22 percent from
the $12.91 billion in the year-ago period.
Google's consolidated net income was $3.38 billion, or $9.90
per share, compared to $2.89 billion, 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.