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Google Rises on Earnings Beat (Update 1)

Updated from 4:23 p.m. EST to provide executive comments from conference call.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- First-quarter results from Google (GOOG) beat estimates, as earnings came in well above expectations. The stock is moving higher by 1.56% to $777.85 on back of the results.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based company reported earnings of $11.58 per share on $13.97 billion in revenue after the closing bell. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were expecting $10.66 per share on $14.09 billion in revenue.

Earnings were aided by an 8% tax rate during the quarter. On the conference call, CFO Patrick Pichette noted this was helped by an R&D tax credit from 2012 that was only retroactively applied in 2013, as well as a mix in earnings.

Excluding traffic acquisition costs (TAC), revenue was $11.01 billion, as TAC accounted for 25% of advertising revenues. Other revenue from Google, including Nexus hardware, was $1.05 billion, up 150% year-over-year.

"We had a very strong start to 2013, with $14.0 billion in revenue, up 31% year-on-year," said Larry Page, CEO of Google. "We are working hard and investing in our products that aim to improve billions of people's lives all around the world."

Google touched a little bit on future projects, such as Google Glass, Fiber, and others. On the earnings call, Page said, "A big part of my job is to get people to focus on things that are not just incremental." He noted Google works on amibitious projects like this because it leads to bigger and better things for the company and its users. "There's not much competition, because no one else is crazy enough to try."

Cost-per-click, a key metric related to advertising, fell 4% year-over-year. Google noted that CPC rose in the fourth-quarter, but that was not the case this quarter, as CPCs fell 4% sequentially from the fourth quarter.

At the end of the quarter, Google had $50.1 billion in cash and cash equivalents. The search giant employed 53,891 full-time employees at the end of the quarter, (38,739 in Google and 9,982 in Motorola Mobile and 5,170 in Motorola Home), up slightly from 53,861 employees at the end of 2012.

Shares of Google finished the session lower today, down 2.2% to $765.35.

-- Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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