Google Q4 revenues and profits up 17%

Google reported fourth quarter revenues of $16.86 and profits of $3.38bn, both up 17% compared with the same period in 2012

Google reported fourth-quarter revenues of $16.86 and profits of $3.38bn, both up 17% compared with the same period in 2012.

"We ended 2013 with another great quarter of momentum and growth," said Google chief executive Larry Page.

Shares in Google remained flat after the earnings were released, but are up more than 50% for the year.

However, investors did give the share price a lift earlier in the week on news of Google’s deal to unload its loss-making Motorola Mobility unit to Chinese computer maker Lenovo for $3bn.

Sales of the new Motorola phones have not been strong and shareholders have been unhappy about the division’s losses.

In the fourth quarter, the unit made a loss of $384m, up from $152m in the same period in 2012. Revenue from the unit declined 24% to $1.15bn.

Google also announced a stock split will take place on 2 April. The move has been under discussion for three years because shareholder were concerned it would unfairly benefit co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, according to the BBC.

In the split, a new class of "C" shares will be created, which will have no voting power, like the current class "A" shares.

Those two classes are also separate from a third class of shares owned by Brin and Page that are worth ten votes each on any official company business.

Rival Facebook reported a record quarter driven mainly by advertising with more than half coming from mobile advertising. Investors responded positively to proof that the firm has cracked mobile advertising.

However, analysts said although Google remains the top seller of digital advertising, the company has struggled to raise its prices for mobile advertising.

Advertiser resistance to paying more for mobile adverts has meant that, although Google increased its number of paid clicks by 31%, the company's average cost-per-click for the quarter was down 11%.

“Expenses are rising faster than revenue, and for a company their size that’s a problem,” Colin Gillis, an analyst at BGC Partners told the Telegraph.

“The fact that click pricing is declining so much means they still have work to do on mobile,” he said.

The majority of revenues came from Google's own sites which include its search engine and YouTube.

Google-owned sites generated revenues of $10.55bn, 67% of segment revenues, in the fourth quarter of 2013.

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