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Google first quarter earnings miss analyst target

Google's first-quarter earnings came in below analyst projections as the internet search leader sped up hiring and increased spending other area to drive up its expenses.

india Updated: Apr 16, 2011 13:32 IST

Google's first-quarter earnings came in below analyst projections as the internet search leader sped up hiring and increased spending other area to drive up its expenses.

The results released Thursday may heighten investor fears that Google's earnings might suffer because of the company's commitment to hire at least 6,200 workers this year. That would be the most in Google's 13-year history.

Google co-founder Larry Page, who replaced Eric Schmidt as CEO after the quarter ended, has indicated he plans to keep investing in long-term opportunities that may take years to pay off, even if that crimps the company's short-term results.

Google shares shed $28.86, or 5 %, to $549.86 in extended trading. The stock closed the regular session at $578.51, up $2.23. The company earned $2.3 billion, or $7.04 per share, in the period ending in March. That was an 18 % increase from nearly $2 billion, or $6.06 per share, last year. If not for the cost of employee stock rewards, Google said it would have earned $8.08 per share.

That was below the average estimate of $8.11 per share among analysts surveyed by FactSet. Revenue was nearly $8.6 billion, a 27 percent increase from last year.