Google shares soar on earnings surprise
Shares gain as much as 12.6% after hours
Shares in internet search giant Google soared in after hours trading Wednesday after it reported second quarter earnings that blew past analysts' estimates.
It made $2.5 billion US, or $7.68 a share in the April-June period, a 36 per cent increase from $1.84 billion, or $5.71 per share, a year ago.
If not for costs covering employee stock, Google said it would have earned $8.74 per share. That figure topped the average analyst estimate of $7.84 per share.
It reported after the close of markets and in after hours trading, its shares rose as much as $66.86, or 12.6 per cent, to $595.80 on heavy volume of 2.4 million shares.
Revenue increased 32 per cent to $9 billion. After subtracting Google's advertising commissions, revenue stood at $6.9 billion. That also beat analyst projections of $6.54 billion in net revenue.
It was the first full quarter since co-founder Larry Page took over as CEO.
Page delivered the impressive results even while standing by his vow to bring in more engineering talent and investing heavily in more data centres so that Google can keep expanding into new fields to make even more money in the future.
Google's newest venture, a Facebook-like social network called Plus, debuted two weeks ago and has grown quickly amid positive reviews.
Google added 2,452 employees in the second quarter, including 450 workers inherited as part of the company's $700 million purchase of airline fare tracker ITA Software.
Google has been facing stiff competition in online advertising threats from rivals Facebook and Groupon and an investigation by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission into whether it has used its dominance in the search market to limit competition.
With files from The Associated Press