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Google reports strong fourth quarter as revenue jumps 17%, but stock drops

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Google Inc. continued to show its growth was outpacing the sluggish economy, announcing a strong fourth quarter in which revenues rose 17% from the same period last year, to $6.67 billion. The company’s profits surged by more than 400%, to $1.97 billion.

‘This was a very strong quarter for Google, an extraordinary end to a roller-coaster year by any measure,’ said Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt in a call with investors.

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Despite the gains, the company’s numbers barely edged out most estimates from Wall Street analysts. The company’s stock price dropped nearly 5%, or $29, in after-hours trading.

Google has been contending with the repercussions of its announcement last week that the company had been attacked by hackers from China who had stolen intellectual property and attempted to spy on some Chinese human-rights activists. In response, Google said it would remove filters from its search engine in China and possibly close down operations in that country altogether.

-- David Sarno


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