Google Inc’s growth machine is back in gear. The world’s No 1 search engine not only posted higher-than-expected third-quarter profits and revenues, but also said it was looking for major acquisitions and could buy a large company “maybe every year or two.”
“While there is a lot of uncertainty about the pace of economic recovery, we believe the worst of the recession is behind us and now feel confident about investing heavily in our future,” Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt said.
“We’re open for business in making strategic acquisitions, both large and small,” he said.
Shares of Google, which have surged over 80 per cent since mid-March and set a fresh 52-week high this week, rose 3.2 per cent to $547 in extended trading.
Google was widely expected to be one of the biggest, early beneficiaries of an economic recovery, thanks to its dominance of the online search market, whose growth has slowed as recession-hit companies cut back on advertising spending.
Net revenue in the third quarter — excluding traffic acquisition costs, or the money that Google shares with partners — rose 8.5 per cent from a year earlier to $4.38 billion, beating the $4.24 billion expected by analysts.
Net revenue also grew quarter-on-quarter for the first time this year, after being roughly flat in the second quarter and falling for the first time ever in the first quarter.