SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google's earnings growth slowed dramatically in the fourth quarter as the holiday shopping season turned into a major letdown for investors.
The results announced Thursday fell way below the lofty expectations of stock market analysts. That caused Google's shares to plunge more than 9 percent after the numbers were released.
Google Inc. earned $2.7 billion, or $8.22 per share, during the October-to-December period. That's just a 6 percent increase from $2.5 billion, or $7.81 per share, at the same time in 2010.
If not for certain items, Google says it would have earned $9.50 per share. Analysts had expected $10.51 per share.
Revenue climbed 25 percent from the previous year to nearly $10.6 billion.
After subtracting ad commissions, Google's revenue totaled $8.1 billion. That was about $300 million below estimates.