Google Earnings Seem Solid

Although Facebook may have stolen a lot of the limelight over its will-they-or-won't-they-IPO, Google is still reporting strong earnings in Silicon Valley.

Google reported that its fourth-quarter net income rose to $2.54 billion, or $7.81 a share, from $1.97 billion, or $6.13 a share, in the same period a year earlier -- a 78 percent gain from 2009.The Silicon Valley titan said its net revenue came in at $6.37 billion.

Among the interesting tidbits on the earnings call (aside from the executive shifts) was the phrase,
"Feed the winners, starve the losers," where Google execs say they will create a more Darwinian environment for new businesses where they either sink or swim.

Google also reported that the company  raised salaries 10 percent across the board for employees on Jan. 1 to avoid attrition; and that Google hopes to grow ad sales by focusing on mid-size and smaller businesses. From MarketWatch:.

The prices paid by advertisers to Google, which are calculated on an auction basis, rose 5% in the quarter. . .  .[Google CFO Patrick] Pichette said much of company’s success in the period came simply as the result of more people getting online and doing their holiday shopping there — and using Google as a tool.

“People have moved online,” Pichette said, which “brings a lot more participants into these [search advertising] auctions, because they want to be where the users are."

Google still holds 65 percent of the U.S. Internet search engine market and according to researchers at eMarketer, Google accounted for 13.4% of all U.S. display advertising revenue last year, an almost 5 percent rise from 2009.

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