Google reported first quarter earnings Thursday of $10.08 US per share on revenue of $8.1 billion.

The average forecast among analysts polled by FactSet had been for $9.64 a share, excluding expenses for employee stock compensation, on revenue of $8.09 billion, after subtracting Google’s ad commissions.

Before making those adjustments, Google earned $2.89 billion, or $8.75 per share, up from $1.8 billion, or $5.51 per share, a year earlier.

Total revenue was $10.65 billion, up 24 per cent.

The company also declared a stock dividend, which will be paid not in cash, but as a new non-voting share. Shareholders will get one of the new share for each current share they hold.

That is meant to reward shareholders without increasing the company's voting shares and undermining the controlling interest held by Google's co-founders and early investors.

The results were released after markets closed, and in extended trading Google shares were up 0.3 per cent to $653 US.

The firm also reported that its cost per click fell 12 per cent from the same period last year, more than the eight per cent drop in the previous quarter.

The results come after a disappointing report in the previous quarter, when net revenue fell nearly $300 million, or three per cent. Adjusted earnings per share in that quarter fell short of the analysts’ target by 10 per cent.

The disappointment led Google's stock price to drop more than eight per cent, its biggest one-day plunge in almost four years.

With files from The Associated Press