Search giant Google beat Wall Street estimates by posting a first quarter net income of $1.4 billion, or $4.49 per share, on a revenue of $4.07 billion. Excluding special items, earnings were $5.16 per share while analysts were counting on profits of $4.93 on a revenue of $4.08 billion.
Net income was up 8 percent from $1.3 billion, or $4.12 per share, in the same period a year before. However, Google also faced its first sequential decline as revenue was lower than the $4.2 billion the company posted in the fourth quarter of 2008.
"Google had a good quarter given the depth of the recession," Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt said in a prepared statement.
Signal Hill Capital Group analyst Todd Greenwald said that while Google's revenue number was expected, its profit was a surprise. "It was definitely better than expected on the bottom line," Greenwald said.
But while Google's net revenue increased compared to the period a year earlier, it also declined from the $4.2 billion reported in the prior period, marking the first sequential decline in net revenue in the company's history. That indicates that while it's held up during the recession better than many peers, Google is also seeing its business affected.