Google Fails to Dazzle With Mixed Results

Google kept investors on guard as a miss on profit sends the stock down 4%.
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missed the earnings target and says it will tap the commercial paper market for $3 billion.

The Internet search giant told analysts on an earnings call that it plans to capitalize on record low interest rates to access the credit market for $3 billion in financing. The company did not say what use it would have for the cash.

Google posted earnings of $6.45 a share, up from the $5.36 a share level a year ago but below the $6.52 profit analysts were looking for.

Sales for the June quarter, excluding traffic acquisition costs, were $5.1 billion, up 24% over year-ago levels and slightly better than the $4.99 billion analysts had anticipated.

"We saw strength in every major product area," CEO Eric Schmidt said in a press release. "We feel confident about our future and plan to continue to invest aggressively in our core areas of strategic focus."

But investors did not have the same appreciation for the mixed picture, sending Google shares down $20.02, or 4%, to $473.50 in afterhours trading Thursday.

The less-than-stellar numbers reinforced the bear thesis that has weighed on the stock. Investors have feared that eroding prices combined with lower ad volume due to weak business in Europe would be a drag on Google's performance.

Google shares are down 21% this year on concerns that growth is looking a little too flat. Though Google didn't indicate business is getting worse, it certainly isn't improving in good shape.

--Written by Scott Moritz in New York.