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Google’s Q4 Numbers Give No Hint At Reason For Shakeup

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It certainly was not Google’s financial results that drove the startling management shake-up at the search giant today. For the quarter, the company reported sales of $6.37 billion, up 28 percent compared to the same period a year ago. Earnings per share came in at $8.75. For the second quarter in a row, both of figures were well above those that even the most bullish analysts had forecast. During the company’s earnings call, CFO Patrick Pichette described the results as a “phenomenal ending to a very good year.”

The company said the average cost-per-click increased five percent, while the total number of paid clicks jumped 18 percent. The increase in paid clicks was the biggest jump at Google (NSDQ: GOOG) in two years, according to one analyst. All in all, revenue generated from Google-owned sites, like its flagship search engine, increased 28 percent, while revenue generated through AdSense was up 22 percent. All of the numbers topped analyst estimates.

Google continues to also invest heavily in its operations. The company added 1,069 employees during the quarter and spent a record $2.55 billion on capital expenditures, a figure that was inflated by the company’s purchase of an office building in New York City for $1.9 billion. During the call, Pichette said the company would continue to spend to build its business, saying Google was doubling down on search as well as the local sector. He also said the company would be hiring “even more product managers and engineers” and would “push them to do things faster.”

At the same time, though, he said the company was nevertheless being disciplined in its spending, noting for instance that Google had pulled several projects over the last year that “have not worked as well,” including Google Wave and Google 411.