The search giant comfortably beat Wall Street's earnings forecast, although revenue came in slightly below expectations.
Google's stand-alone revenue, which excludes revenue from its recent Motorola Mobility acquisition, was $10.96 billion, up from $9.03 billion in the prior year's quarter.
The company's CEO Larry Page, however, was a notable absentee from the earnings conference call. Page has recently been absent from public events, prompting one analyst on the call to quiz Google's chief business officer Nikesh Arora on the CEO's health."There is no more new news on Larry -- he has lost his voice," replied Arora. "This means that he can't do any public speaking, including today's conference call." Arora, however, emphasized that Page continues to run the company. "He's here and involved in all the strategic decisions we are making," he added. Microsoft (MSFT) was another gainer on Friday, rising 0.93% to $30.95 after reporting its fourth-quarter results after market close on Thursday. The software maker posted mixed numbers, with earnings topping estimates on strong growth in its server and tools business, but with revenue coming in slightly below analysts' estimates. Microsoft was also one of the most active premarket Nasdaq stocks on share volume of 258,909. Flash memory specialist SanDisk (SNDK), however, was an even bigger gainer before market open, rising 10.89% to $38.90 on Thursday's strong second-quarter results. SanDisk was also an active pre-arket Nasdaq stock on share volume of 165,285. AMD (AMD) shares slipped 3.7% to $4.68 before market open following the company's second-quarter results and weak third-quarter guidance, released on Thursday. "Overall weakness in the global economy, softer consumer spending and lower channel demand for our desktop processors in China and Europe made the closing weeks of the quarter challenging," noted AMD CEO Rory Read, in a statement. Investors will be keeping a close eye on Palo Alto Networks and Kayak with both companies set to make their public debuts on Friday. --Written by James Rogers in New York.
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