MOUNTAIN VIEW -- Google reported better than expected fourth quarter revenue Thursday but missed Wall Street projections for profit.

Revenue was $16.86 billion, up 17 percent in the fourth quarter compared to a year ago. Profit was $3.4 billion, up 17 percent compared to last year, but the company's earnings of $9.90 a share, or $12.01 after subtracting one-time charges, fell short of Wall Street projections as the average cost of search ads declined by 11 percent.

Paid clicks for Google ads were up about 31 percent from the year before, Google reported Thursday, but the average "cost-per-click" fell.

"We ended 2013 with another great quarter of momentum and growth," Google CEO Larry Page said in a statement. "We made great progress across a wide range of product improvements and business goals. I'm also very excited about improving people's lives even more with continued hard work on our user experiences."

Google's latest earnings report came out a day after it announced it was abandoning its unprofitable Motorola phone division for nearly $3 billion just 20 months after buying it.

Google's $12.4 billion purchase of Motorola represented its biggest deal ever as it tried to amass patents while producing high-end, Android-based units to compete with Apple's iPhone.


Advertisement

Contact Dan Nakaso at 408-271-3648. Follow him at Twitter.com/dannakaso.