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Google is doing well, but that’s normal, and many analysts were not overly impressed.

Google reported consolidated revenues of US$16.86 billion for the quarter ended 31 December, an increase of 17% compared to the fourth quarter of 2012. Annual revenues were US$57.86 billion.

Operating income (profit) in the fourth was US$3.92 billion, or 23% of revenues compared to $3.39 billion, or 24% of revenues, in the fourth quarter of 2012. Revenues were roughly 50:50 inside and outside if the US.

The revenue growth was higher than expected, but the slightly lower profit margin was regarded by some as a worrying sign. Paid clicks rose 31%. But cost per click (CPC) fell by 11%. Lots of people are clicking on Google ads, but the ads are declining in value.

Google also announced that its shares, now trading at a near record US$1181, will be split in April. "Google is just taking a dime and making it two nickels, but some investors do trade on stock splits like this," said Colin Gillis, an analyst at BGC Partners, quoted in USA Today. "There's a school of thought that splits like this make the stock more affordable for some investors."

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Graeme Philipson

Graeme Philipson is senior associate editor at iTWire and editor of sister publication CommsWire. He is also founder and Research Director of Connection Research, a market research and analysis firm specialising in the convergence of sustainable, digital and environmental technologies. He has been in the high tech industry for more than 30 years, most of that time as a market researcher, analyst and journalist. He was founding editor of MIS magazine, and is a former editor of Computerworld Australia. He was a research director for Gartner Asia Pacific and research manager for the Yankee Group Australia. He was a long time IT columnist in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, and is a recipient of the Kester Award for lifetime achievement in IT journalism.

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