Google announced its fourth quarter financial results today. Profits were up 17 percent to $1.21 billion which is the lowest growth since the company went public. Google reported a revenue of $4.83 billion, slice out the cost of acquiring traffic revenues were $3.39 billion.
The company said net income for the quarter was $1.2 billion, or $3.79 a share, compared with $1.03 billion, or $3.29 a share a year ago. Profit, excluding items like stock-based compensation, was $4.43 a share.
Google’s revenue in the last three months of the year rose to $4.83 billion from $3.21 billion a year ago. Excluding commissions paid to advertising partners, a measure closely watched by Wall Street analysts, Google’s revenue jumped to $3.39 billion, from $2.23 billion a year earlier.
On average, Wall Street analysts polled by Thomson Financial expected Google’s profit, not counting the cost of items like stock options, to be $4.45 a share, on revenue, excluding commissions paid to partners, of $3.45 billion.
Analysts were watching Google’s report for any signs that the economic slowdown is hurting the company’s advertising business. Yet some believe that Google, which is largely dependent on text ads it places alongside search results, is likely to be more immune to an advertising recession than rivals like Yahoo and Microsoft, who earn a greater share of their revenues from display advertisements.
Google's stocked dropped 6.54% in after hours trading.