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TheStreet Open House

Google's Quarterly Sales Rise 32%

Google earnings story updated with more information from the company's conference call.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Google (GOOG) shares were sky-rocketing more than 12% in after-hours trading Thursday, after reporting its first round of quarterly earnings with new CEO Larry Page at the helm.

The search giant posted adjusted earnings per share of $8.54 on revenue of $6.92 billion, beating analyst estimates of $7.86 a share on sales of $6.5 billion.

"We had a great quarter, with revenue up 32% year-on-year for a record-breaking over $9 billion of revenue," said Page in a prepared statement. The $9 billion figure includes $2.11 billion in traffic acquisition costs (TAC), which most analysts exclude in their estimates. (TAC is the amount of money that Google pays out to other sites for their traffic.)

The profit jump was helped by big increases in both the number of clicks on Google ads ("paid clicks," which rose 18% year over year) and the average cost-per-click (up 12%).

Outside of its core search business, Google has made aggressive moves in the last few months to break into new markets. It recently unveiled Google +, its social network intended to rival Facebook. It also launched Google Offers earlier this week, a daily coupons service aimed at competing with the privately-held Groupon and LivingSocial.

"I'm super excited about the amazing response to Google+, which lets you share just like in real life," said Page.

Page is also investing in businesses like mobile through its Android operating system and display ads via its YouTube video service. On the company's conference call, Page said 135 million Android devices have been activated so far, with about 550,000 Android devices activated on a daily basis.

One concern with Google's investments: aggressive spending. Earlier this year, Google said it would hire more than 6,000 employees in 2011 -- the most ever in its history -- sparking fear among some analysts that the company's spending may cut into profit margins, particularly as it bets on "speculative" projects like self-driving cars.

Page addressed these concerns, adding that while the company is interested in investing in cutting edge areas, it's focused on its core business.

"We spend the vast majority of our resources on core projects," he said on the company's conference call. "We may have some speculative projects, but we're very careful stewards of our shareholder's money ... we're not putting the farm on this stuff."

Worries about regulatory scrutiny of Google have also cast a shadow over the company.

Last month the Federal Trade Commission launched an antitrust investigation into Google's search practices.

Follow along with TheStreet's live-blog of Google's earnings call.

--Written by Olivia Oran in New York.



>To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/Ozoran.

>To submit a news tip, send an email to: tips@thestreet.com.

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