Google Jumps on Earnings Beat, CPC Rise

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Google ( GOOG) shares moved sharply higher following its fourth-quarter earnings, showcasing earnings growth of 12%.

Google earned $10.65 a share on $11.3 billion in revenue during the quarter, excluding traffic acquisition costs (TAC). With TAC, Google generated $14.42 billion in sales, up 36% year-on-year, according to CEO Larry Page.

"We ended 2012 with a strong quarter," Page said, in a prepared statement. "Revenues were up 36% year-on-year, and 8% quarter-on-quarter. And we hit $50 billion in revenues for the first time last year - not a bad achievement in just a decade and a half. In today's multi-screen world we face tremendous opportunities as a technology company focused on user benefit. It's an incredibly exciting time to be at Google."

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected Google to earn $10.49 a share on $12.3 billion in revenue this quarter. That's up from a year ago, when Google earned $9.50 a share on $8.13 billion in sales, though those numbers excluded its Motorola acquisition.

Cost-per-click (CPC), a key metric for ads, fell 6% year-over-year, but actually rose 2% sequentially, alleviating some of Wall Street's biggest concerns.

As of Dec. 31, 2012, Google had $48.1 billion in cash and cash equivalents, and employed 53,861 people across the world, up from 53,436 as the end of the last quarter. Those numbers include Motorola Mobile and Motorola Home.

Shares of the Internet search giant closed the regular session lower, losing 0.23% to close at $702.87. The stock is moving higher in extended-hours trading, up 4.19% to $732.01 according to Nasdaq.com.

The company will hold a conference call at 4:30 P.M. ET to discuss the results.

Interested in more on Google? See TheStreet Ratings' report card for this stock.

-- Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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