SAN FRANCISCO Google says its fourth-quarter earnings rose 7 percent as online advertisers spent more money in pursuit of holiday shoppers.
The results announced Tuesday were slightly above analyst estimates.
"We ended 2012 with a strong quarter," said Larry Page, CEO of Google, in a statement. "Revenues were up 36 percent year-on-year, and 8 percent quarter-on-quarter. And we hit $50 billion in revenues for the first time last year -- not a bad achievement in just a decade and a half."
It wasn't an apples-to-apples comparison because the most recent quarter included Motorola Mobility, which Google Inc. didn't own in the previous year.
Things were further complicated by Google's recent agreement to sell a part of its Motorola Mobility division that makes cable TV boxes. That division is now accounted for as a discontinued operation.
Google earned nearly $2.9 billion, or $8.62 cents per share during the final three months of last year. That compared to net income of $2.7 billion, or $8.22 per share, at the same time last year.
Revenue surged 36 percent from the previous year to $14.4 billion.
In after hours trading Wednesday, Google shares surged nearly 5 percent to $736.10.