Google shares jumped almost 5% in after-hours trading Tuesday after the Internet search giant said its fourth-quarter earnings rose 7% as advertisers increased spending during the holiday shopping season.
The results were slightly above analysts' expectations.
“The stock is getting a little love,” BGC Partners analyst Colin Gillis said. “It’s not exceptional but it’s better than expected."
Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Youssef Squali said the results "bode well for the stock short-term in our view."
Google earned nearly $2.9 billion, or $8.62 a share, in the last three months of 2012, compared with net income of $2.7 billion or $8.22 a share, in the year-ago quarter. The latest period included results from Motorola Mobility, which Google didn’t own in the year-earlier period.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had projected Google to report fourth-quarter earnings of $10.47.
“We ended 2012 with a strong quarter,” Google’s chief executive, Larry Page, said during a conference call with analysts.
In after hours trading, Google's shares climbed $33.77, or 4.8%, to $736.64. That was after falling $1.64 to $702.87 in the stock market's regular session.